The Marketing Bureau


Specialist Marketing & Communications Resourecs

07

Apr

Our Fingers Are Doing The Walking


United States
: It’s been nearly 50 years since the Yellow Pages® first urged phone customers to “Let your fingers do the walking.” Back then, it was just an ad slogan, and the message wasn’t meant to be taken literally. Nowadays, however, thanks to touch-screen technology, wireless phone users can “let their fingers do the walking.”
They can easily shop online, send e-mails and texts, and share multimedia files and pictures with friends and family—all with the flick of a finger. The technology has proven so popular that customers who own traditional mobile phones—as opposed to feature-rich “smartphones”— are increasingly moving to models that offer touch screens.

Touch-screen technology is gaining in popularity, partly due to the experience customers are having with the technology among both smartphone and traditional handset owners. A recent study by J.D. Power and Associates confirms that overall satisfaction with touch screens (among both smartphone and traditional handset owners) is considerably higher than those with other input mechanisms with regard to ease of operation and styling.


According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction StudySM—Volume 1 and the 2010 Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction StudySM—Volume 1, satisfaction among smartphone owners whose device has a touch screen is 771 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is nearly 40 index points higher than those whose smartphone uses other input methods such as a text keyboard. Currently, slightly more than half of smartphones have touch screens for navigation. While not as readily available on traditional mobile phones, satisfaction on phones with a touch screen is 756 (on a 1,000-point scale), 53 index points higher than the industry average.


The studies, which are based on experiences reported by more than 18,000 traditional mobile phone and smartphone owners who have used their current mobile phone for less than two years, measure customer satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets and smartphones across several key factors. In order of importance, key factors of overall satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets are operation (30%); physical design (30%); features (20%); and battery function (20%). For smartphones, key factors are ease of operation (26%); operating system (24%); physical design (23%); features (19%); and battery function (8%).


Apple, LG rank highest

According to the studies, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones, with a score of 810, and performs particularly well in ease of operation, operating system, features and physical design. RIM BlackBerry (741) follows Apple in the rankings. LG ranks highest in overall wireless customer satisfaction with traditional handsets with a score of 729, performing well across all factors, particularly physical design, features and operation. Both Sanyo (712) and Samsung (703) follow LG in the rankings.

Other highlights from the wireless phone studies include:

Among traditional handset owners, 25 percent report frequently sending and receiving multimedia and picture messages— an increase of 25 percent from just six months ago. Smartphone users are nearly twice as likely to share multimedia messages.

Nearly one-fifth (17%) of smartphone owners with touch screens report frequently downloading and watching video content on their device.

Global Positioning System capabilities are a desired feature among both traditional mobile phone and smartphone users. More than one-third (35%) of traditional mobile phone owners want GPS features on their next handset purchase, while 15 percent of smartphone owners want GPS.

Younger users continue to be more satisfied with their handset, regardless of whether it is a traditional mobile phone or a smartphone. Traditional mobile phone users aged 18 to 24 rate their handset 35 index points above segment average, while smartphone users of the same age bracket rate their handset 18 index points above segment average.

Mobile applications continue to enhance the smartphone user experience. Sixty percent report downloading third-party games for entertainment, while 46 percent report downloading travel software such as maps and weather applications. Thirty-one percent report downloading utility applications, while 26 percent report downloading business-specific programs, indicating that smartphone owners are seamlessly integrating their devices into both their business and personal lives.


About the Studies
The 2010 Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction StudySM—Volume 1 and the 2010 Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Evaluation StudySM—Volume 1 are based on experiences reported by 13,590 traditional mobile phone and 4,480 smartphone owners who have used their current mobile phone for less than two years. The studies were fielded between July and December 2009.

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