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Please direct all media inquiries to J.D. Power and Associates Corporate Communications Department:


J.D. Power and Associates
Corporate Communications
2625 Townsgate Road
Westlake Village, CA 91361
Toll Free: (800) 274-5372
Phone: (805) 418-8000
Fax: (805) 418-8900
media.relations@jdpa.com


John Tews
Director, Media Relations
Troy, MI
(248) 680-6200


Syvetril Perryman
Media Relations Supervisor
Westlake Village, CA
(805) 418-8103


Andrew Teachout
Media Relations Specialist
Troy, MI
(248) 680-6200

 

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Contact:
John Tews
(248) 312-4119
Syvetril Perryman
(805) 418-8103
 
J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
BlackBerry Devices Rank Highest in Inaugural Business Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study

Each Operating System Platform Excels in at Least One Particular Area,
Yet There is Still Room for Improvement

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 31 October 2007 —BlackBerry devices, which are manufactured by Research in Motion (RIM), rank highest in overall customer satisfaction among business wireless smartphone users, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Business Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction StudySM released today.

The inaugural study measures business customer satisfaction with their wireless smartphone, which is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities, often with personal computer-like functionality such as a BlackBerry or Treo. Overall satisfaction is examined across six key factors. In order of importance, they are: ease of operation (22%); operating system (21%); physical design (20%); audio (14%); battery aspects (13%); and utility features (10%).

RIM ranks highest in overall smartphone customer satisfaction with a score of 702 points on a 1,000-point scale, performing particularly well in the operating system factor, which includes the speed of moving between applications and speed of sending/receiving e-mails. RIM also performs particularly well in battery aspects, including the length of battery life. Treo manufacturer Palm (698) and Samsung (698) tie to closely follow RIM in the ranking.

“While RIM has differentiated itself from the competition in areas that are most important to business smartphone users, competition in this market is tight,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services for J.D. Power and Associates. “Particularly for RIM, ease of using basic applications and features and providing the right amount of functionality in a lightweight package has given the manufacturer an edge.”

The study finds that satisfaction is critical to future sales and profitability of smartphone manufacturers, as highly satisfied owners are more than 50 percent more likely to repurchase the same brand than those who are not satisfied with their smartphone. Additionally, owners who are “delighted” with their smartphone are 80 percent more likely to recommend a particular brand than an unsatisfied owner.

The study also finds that customer satisfaction varies depending on the type of operating system—RIM, Palm, Microsoft Windows Mobile or Symbian— being used in the smartphone device, as each system has its own advantages. For example, customers note that the Palm system’s basic features are easy to use, such as making and receiving calls; checking voice mail; using the keyboard and key pads; and understanding display screen symbols. In comparison, smartphone devices using the Microsoft Windows system perform well with regard to call quality, particularly when it comes to sound quality and having a wide variety of preloaded ring tones to choose from.

“While each OS platform excels in a particular area, there is definitely room for improvement across the market as not one smartphone brand excels in all business application dimensions,” said Parsons. “It’s critical for manufacturers to offer a complete package of functionality and ease of operation that meets the business needs of customers.”

The study also finds the following key smartphone business wireless usage patterns:
  • Among smartphone customers, 13 percent report having to get their device repaired, with software application issues, device locking up or display not working being the most frequently reported problems.
  • More than 40 percent of smartphone users would like GPS (global positioning system) capabilities on their device, while 26 percent would like Wi-Fi capabilities, 22 percent want touch screen and 19 percent would like to have a TV integrated into their device.
  • The average reported purchase price of a smartphone device is $261. Palm owners report the highest purchase price at $313. Motorola has the lowest reported device pricing at $194.
  • The top five reasons given for choosing a smartphone brand are: personal digital assistant (PDA)/personal information manager (PIM) functionality (50%), Internet capability (48%), Bluetooth capabilities (46%), general ease of use (44%) and overall design/style (44%).
  • Thirty-five percent of smartphone owners download third-party software. Popular software downloads among business users include games (51%), travel-related programs (42%) and business applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel (36%).
The 2007 Business Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 1,089 business wireless customers who currently own a smartphone device. Findings are based on data collected in August 2007. Visit JDPower.com to view customer satisfaction ratings for wireless service and carrier performance, call quality, customer care, retail sales and mobile phone handsets.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The firm’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2006 were $6.3 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.
 

Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews
J.D. Power and Associates
Director, Media Relations
5435 Corporate Drive, Suite 300
Troy , MI 48098
USA
(248) 312-4119
john.tews@jdpa.com

Syvetril Perryman
J.D. Power and Associates
Specialist, Media Relations
2625 Townsgate Road, Suite 100
Westlake Village , CA 91361
USA
(805) 418-8103
syvetril.perryman@jdpa.com

 

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

 

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About J.D. Power and Associates:
The Voice of the Customer

J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors across a variety of industries, providing customer satisfaction research, market research, automotive forecasting, social media research, and performance improvement programs. Established in 1968, the company has been listening to consumers and business customers; analyzing their opinions and perceptions; and refining research techniques and study methodologies to offer some of the most advanced product quality, customer satisfaction, and tracking research available today. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.