J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Touch Screens Drive Higher Satisfaction with Both Feature-Rich Smartphones and Traditional Mobile Phones
Apple Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Smartphone Manufacturers,
While LG Ranks Highest among Traditional Mobile Phone Manufacturers
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 1 April 2010 - Overall satisfaction among smartphone and traditional handset owners whose phones are equipped with touch screens is considerably higher than satisfaction of owners of phones that have other input mechanisms, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study-Volume 1 and the 2010 U.S. Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction StudySM-Volume 1 released today.
Among smartphone owners whose device has a touch screen, satisfaction averages 771 on a 1,000-point scale, nearly 40 index points higher than among those whose smartphone uses other input methods, such as a text keyboard. Currently, slightly more than one-half of owners indicate their smartphone has a touch screen for navigation. While not as readily available on traditional mobile phones, satisfaction on phones with a touch screen averages 756-53 index points higher than the industry average.
"Touch screens are ideal for those using their phone for entertainment, as the displays are generally larger and provide a richer viewing experience," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. "It is critical, however, that manufacturers meet expectations with regard to providing adequate battery life, as these large displays can drain batteries very quickly. In addition, for customers to have a truly rewarding experience, wireless carriers must continue to provide problem-free, high-speed downloads, as customers rely on them to deliver content quickly and on the go."
These two studies measure customer satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets and smartphones across several key factors. In order of importance, the key factors of overall satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets are: operation (30%); physical design (30%); features (20%); and battery function (20%). For smartphones, the key factors are: ease of operation (26%); operating system (24%); physical design (23%); features (19%); and battery function (8%).
Apple ranks highest in customer satisfaction 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, and performs well in all five factors, particularly physical design, features and operation. Sanyo (712) and Samsung (703) follow LG in the rankings.
The study finds that both smartphone and traditional handset owners are increasingly using their phones for entertainment and sharing media with friends, family and members of their social network. Among traditional handset owners, 25 percent indicate they frequently send and receive 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. In addition, nearly one-fifth (17%) of smartphone owners with touch screen-equipped handsets indicate they frequently download and watch video content on their device, which is significantly higher than the segment average.
The studies also find the following key wireless handset usage patterns:
- Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities are a desired feature among both traditional mobile phone and smartphone users. More than one-third (35%) of traditional mobile phone owners say they want GPS features on their next handset purchase, while 15 percent of smartphone owners say they want GPS.
- Younger users continue to be more satisfied with their handset regardless of whether it is a traditional mobile phone or a smartphone. Satisfaction among traditional mobile phone users 18 years old to 24 years old is 35 index points higher than the segment average, while satisfaction among smartphone users within the same age range is 18 index points above the segment average.
- Mobile applications continue to enhance the smartphone user experience. Sixty percent say they download third-party games for entertainment, while 46 percent say they download travel software, such as maps and weather applications. Thirty-one percent say they download utility applications, while 26 percent say they download business-specific programs, indicating that smartphone owners are continuing to integrate their device usage into both their business and personal lives.
The 2010 Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study-Volume 1 and the 2010 Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Evaluation Study-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. For more information on customer satisfaction with wireless service, wireless retail sales, cell phone handsets, customer care, prepaid wireless service and business wireless service, please visit JDPower.com.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company'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 is a leading global information services company meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, Capital IQ, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.