iPhone continues to hold smartphone crown


Yet more market data has cemented Apple's iPhone as leader of the smartphone pack, while LG leads traditional phone manufacturers.

The J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Wireless Consumer Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study measured customer satisfaction across several areas, surveying more than 17,000 traditional wireless handsets and smartphone users.

In order of importance, key factors in examining traditional wireless handsets were operation (30 per cent); physical design (30 per cent); features (20 per cent); and battery function (20 per cent). Among residential smartphone owners, key factors are ease of operation (30 per cent); operating system (22 per cent); features (21 per cent); physical design (18 per cent); and battery function (9 per cent).

Apple ranked highest among smartphone manufacturers with a score of 791 on a 1,000-point scale, performing particularly well in ease of operation, operating system, features and physical design. LG (772) and Samsung (759) followed Apple in the rankings.

Among traditional handsets, LG ranks highest in overall wireless customer satisfaction with a score of 733, performing well across all factors. Sony Ericsson followed with 712.

J.D. observed that, among smartphone users, overall satisfaction had increased considerably, compared with an equivalent US study carried out at the end of last year. Smartphone users reported sending and receiving an average of 17 emails per day and 82 per cent said they regularly used their phone's personal information management (PIM) capabilities, such as address books and to-do lists, to stay better organised.

"As consumers continuously upgrade to mobile phones that allow a full mobile-web experience, advanced multimedia programs and 3G data downloads, overall handset satisfaction should continue to rise, as these devices tend to make our lives more convenient and prove entertaining," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates.

He added that it was crucial, however, that manufacturers ensure these features are intuitive and that wireless carriers educate customers to maximise their wireless experience.

"While manufacturers continue to develop advanced features, they must also continue to provide a high-quality calling experience for their users," he said.

The study also found more than 40 per cent of smartphone users report entirely replacing landline calls with mobile phone calling, while only 28 per cent of traditional handset owners have done the same.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.