Mobile Phone Users Like Touchscreens, Apple, LG

April 7, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Media & Entertainment | Mobile Phone | Technology | Telecom

Touchscreens drive mobile phone satisfaction and Apple ranks highest in customer satisfaction among manufacturers of smartphones, according to two recent surveys from J.D. Power and Associates.

Touchscreen Most Important Input Mechanism
For both users of smartphones and traditional wireless phones, a touchscreen provides more satisfaction than any other input mechanism. 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 50% of owners indicate their smartphone has a touch screen for navigation. While not as readily available, satisfaction on traditional mobile phones with a touchscreen averages 756, or 53 index points higher than the industry average.

Apple Has Highest Smartphone Satisfaction Rating
Apple definitively leads smartphone providers in customer satisfaction with an overall satisfaction rating of 810 on a 1,000-point scale. No other manufacturer scored above the industry average of 753 and only Apple received JD Power’s highest “Among the Best” Power Circle rating. Apple performs particularly well with consumers in the areas of ease of operation, operating system, features and physical design.


RIM Blackberry follows Apple with an overall satisfaction rating of 741 and a Power Circle rating of “About Average.” In descending order, HTC, Samsung, Nokia and Palm followed, and all received a Power Circle rating of “The Rest.”

LG Leads Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction
Among traditional mobile phone manufacturers, LG had the highest overall customer satisfaction score of 729 and was the only company to receive an Among the Best Power Circle rating. Sanyo also scored above the industry average of 703 with an overall score of 712 and a “Better than Most” Power Circle rating.


Samsung tied the industry average overall score of 703 and received an About Average Power Circle rating. Kyocora followed Samsung with a 693 overall score and About Average Power Circle rating.

In descending order, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Nokia rounded out traditional mobile phone providers in overall customer satisfaction, each receiving a Power Circle rating of The Rest.

Mobile Entertainment, Media Sharing on Rise
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% indicate they frequently send and receive multimedia and picture messages, an increase of 25% from 20% 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.

Other Findings

  • 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% 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 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% say they download travel software, such as maps and weather applications. Thirty-one percent say they download utility applications, while 26% say they download business-specific programs, indicating that smartphone owners are continuing to integrate their device usage into both their business and personal lives.

Smartphones Projected to Overtake Feature Phones Next Year
Smartphone penetration of the US mobile phone market will overtake feature phone penetration by the end of 2011, according to projections from The Nielsen Company.

Although only 21% of American wireless subscribers were using a smartphone as of Q4 2009 compared to 19% in Q3 2009 and 14% at the end of 2008, Nielsen expects smartphones to account for more than half of the US mobile phone market by 2011. Nielsen predicts smartphones will account for 24% of the US mobile phone market in Q1 2010 and rise to about 33% market share by Q4 2010.

Growth will then accelerate in 2011, hitting 40% in Q1 2011 and about 50% by Q3 2011. Based on this rapid increase, smartphones should pass the 50% mark during Q4 2011.

About the Surveys: 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.

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