Touchscreens A Hit With Cellphones: J.D. Power & Associates

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Westlake Village, Calif. -  Overall satisfaction among smartphone and traditional handset owners whose phones are equipped with touchscreens is considerably higher than satisfaction of owners of phones that have other input mechanisms, according to the J.D. Power and Associates.

In its 2010 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study-Volume 1 and the 2010 U.S. Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction Study-Volume 1 released today, among smartphone owners whose device has a touchscreen, 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 touchscreen for navigation. While not as readily available on traditional mobile phones, satisfaction on phones with a touchscreen averages 756 -- 53 index points higher than the industry average.

"Touchscreens are ideal for those using their phone for entertainment, as the displays are generally larger and provide a richer viewing experience," said Kirk Parsons, wireless services senior director 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



across several key factors. In order of importance, the key factors of overall satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets are operation (30 percent), physical design (30 percent), features (20 percent) and battery function (20 percent).

For smartphones, the key factors are ease of operation (26 percent), operating system (24 percent), physical design (23 percent), features (19 percent) and battery function (8 percent).

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 percent) of smartphone owners with touchscreen-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:

* GPS capabilities are a desired feature among both traditional mobile phone and smartphone users. More than one-third (35 percent) of traditional mobile phone owners said they want GPS features on their next handset purchase, while 15 percent of smartphone owners said 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 said they download third-party games for entertainment, while 46 percent said they download travel software, such as maps and weather applications. Thirty-one percent said they download utility applications, while 26 percent said they download business-specific programs, indicating that smartphone owners are continuing to integrate their device usage into both their business and personal lives.

The study surveyed 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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