UK Smartphone survey: bad news for manufacturers

Fanfare have just published the results of a survey of users of smartphones (interestingly, their definition of smartphone is “"a mobile phone that combines voice services with applications including e-mail and/or internet access"” -  a far more common set of features than the conventional view of smartphones).

Smartphone performance – Over half of respondents (57%) are disappointed with the overall performance of their smartphone.  Streaming media, web browsers, and social networking applications are causing the most problems for smartphone users.  Nearly a third (29%) experience “continual” problems with newly acquired applications, and 64% of respondents have required some form of software patching to fix issues on their smartphone. 

Placing blame – 55% of respondents cannot tell whether individual problems stem from the handset or the mobile network and, as a result, 53% instinctively blame the smartphone manufacturer whenever an issue arises.

Voicing concerns – Smartphone owners are most likely to vocalize their dissatisfaction through social networking sites (58%) and to friends and family (57%).  At the same time, the purchasing decisions of 76% are influenced by criticisms from friends and family, and 64% will take heed of criticisms received via social media.

This is good news for mobile operators (who often get the blame for bad services) but very bad news for OEMs such as HTC, as it appears end users would prefer to change handset than to change network.

The research shows that smartphone owners are regularly experiencing problems such as application glitches, compatibility issues, crashing, and freezing, yet are unclear as to whether these can be attributed to the handset, network, or individual applications. More than half the respondents (53%) are likely to blame individual handset manufacturers for problems and 58% would not hesitate to publicize their dissatisfaction first via social media.  

Would you blame the handset, the operator or the software, or does it depend on the exact circumstances?

Fanfare Software, via Reg Hardware.

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