Low-end focus leads to lower Windows Phone customer satisfaction

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JD Power have posted their bi-annual customer satisfaction survey of US smartphone customers by carrier.

OEMMar-12Sep-12Mar-13Sep-13Mar-14
Apple839849855                       856                        850
Nokia702763795                       840                        827
Samsung769782793                       839                        846
Motorola758777792                       796                        805
HTC798790790                       829                        827
LG733742744                       805                        823
Blackberry733740732                       778                         841

For the first time in two years it shows Nokia’s numbers dipping after a dramatic rise as Windows Phones replace Symbian handsets.

The drop, which saw Nokia move from the second to second last spot, is likely due to the rise of low-end handsets such as the Nokia Lumia 520.

According to JD Power price of handsets have become increasingly important in choosing devices, rising from 13% to 21% over the last 3 years, and the importance of features has reduced from 57% to 35%, selecting a smartphone device based on price generates significantly lower levels of satisfaction (808 on a 1,000-point scale) and repurchase rates (18%) than selections based on product-specific reasons such as operating system (860 and 35%, respectively).

Smartphone T-Mobile

Consistent with this Nokia (and by extension Windows Phone) scored the lowest on T-Mobile, the carrier almost synonymous with the Nokia Lumia 521.

When asked which features they would like on their next device, smartphone owners most often cite seamless voice control (36%); built-in sensors that can gauge temperature, lighting, noise and moods to customize settings to the environment (35%); and facial recognition and biometric security (28%).

It appears the focus on price and the volume it generates can be a trap for OEMs like Nokia, who may create a large mass of customers that are not very satisfied or very loyal, and suggests continuing to strip features of their low-end handsets may not be a sustainable strategy.

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