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US Happy with their Handsets

A J.D. Power and Associates report is showing that overall satisfaction among wireless mobile phone owners has increased 4% when compared to 2005, the second time in 3 three years customer satisfaction has increased significantly.

Overall satisfaction was based on performance in five key factors (in order of importance): physical design (24%), operation (22%), features (20%), handset durability (19%) and battery function (15%).

The study also found that customer satisfaction ratings have increased most significantly from 2005 in phone operation (increasing 5%) - specifically in areas related to ease of use (ease of phone navigation, clarity of text onscreen and operating the handset). Satisfaction with phone features also rose 5%, mainly based on higher ratings from customers for Internet features.

The study also tracked the shift in physical design of wireless handsets. Manufacturers are moving away from the candy bar-shape design and more toward clamshell designs. In 2002, nearly 70% of wireless users owned a candy bar-type handset, compared to 39% in 2006. Over the same time period, the percentage of wireless customers owning a clamshell-design phone has risen from 7% to 58%.

Other pieces of interest:

- The average reported handset purchase price in 2006 is $86 - a decrease from $99 in 2004.
- The average replacement cycle for a typical handset is 17.6 months - a slight decrease from 18 months in 2005.
- The most-used features on the handset include the speakerphone (26%), SMS (22%), camera capabilities (19%) and gaming (16%).

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