||Phone Satisfaction Rests On Design, Dimensions
If you don't have an iPhone, you don't have an iPhone -- and you're probably not as satisfied as those who do.
According to J.D. Power & Associates' 20111 Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study, Apple ranks highest among smartphone manufacturers when it comes to customer satisfaction, with an index score of 838 (on a 1,000-point scale), performing particularly well when it comes to ease of operation and features. HTC follows Apple in the smartphone rankings with a score of 801. The industry average score for smartphones was 788.
"(IPhone users) have been very consistent in their experience with their devices," Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power, told Marketing Daily. "They tend to be on another level. A lot of it has to do with the navigation of it and how intuitive it is."
In general, satisfaction with smartphones (as well as traditional "feature" phones) is heavily influenced by the device's physical design and dimensions. According to the survey, satisfaction ratings are highest among smartphones whose weight does not exceed five ounces. (Among feature phones, satisfaction levels drop considerably when the device weighs four or more ounces.)
At the same time, people are more satisfied with thinner phones, with satisfaction rates statistically higher with phones that are less than half-an-inch thick. People are also more satisfied with touchscreen-only smartphones (as opposed to QWERTY keyboards) and with phones that have more megapixels in their camera functions (although satisfaction tends to level out at above five megapixels).
"Design is very key, clearly," Parsons says. "It's not really surprising the newest, latest, greatest technology impacts scores; that's always been the case. But you have to have the right combination. If you have a lightweight phone, but the thickness is not where it should be, it can affect satisfaction."
Meanwhile, according to the company's Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction Study, Samsung ranks highest in customer satisfaction of traditional handsets with a score of 718, followed by LG (717), Sanyo (716) and Sony Ericsson (709). At the same time, the average price of a traditional handset has fallen to $71 in 2011, compared with $81 at the beginning of 2009, due primarily to discounts offered by handset providers and wireless companies. Forty-two percent of owners said they received a free mobile phone when subscribing to their wireless service.
Smartphone owners continue to download apps at increasing rates. More than two-thirds of smartphone owners said they have downloaded games and social networking apps, while more than half (54%) have downloaded entertainment-oriented apps (52% have downloaded travel-oriented apps).
(Source: Marketing Daily, 09/08/11)