Thursday, June 01, 2006

Mobile phone survey shows ease-of-use up, prices down

Toward a cell that people can use ...

"Cell phone users have a variety of reasons for choosing a particular model over another, but features tend to rate lower than style or price, at least according to a new study (PDF) by JD Power and Associates. Also, it turns out that overall satisfaction has gone up by 4 percent since last year, and Sanyo has the highest satisfaction rating among the major handset manufacturers.

Most improved in the satisfaction survey are ratings related to ergonomics. Apparently, the cell phone manufacturers are either learning to make the controls simpler for the average person, or consumers are getting used to the often arcane and counter-intuitive navigation menus. Clarity of text on the screen was also considered a factor in the upswing. Ergonomics are of major importance as cell phones continue to accrue features such as Internet access, games, cameras, PDA capabilities, and media playback.

Fans of the so-called "candy bar" handsets may be disappointed to learn that they are likely to have fewer choices in the future, as the market heads toward more clamshell designs. Candy bar phones accounted for 70 percent of all wireless handsets in 2002, but make up just 39 percent of phones today. Similarly, the clamshell (or Star Trek communicator) variety have soared from 7 to 58 percent over the same time frame. It's unclear what the remaining 3 percent of customers are using—perhaps they're still clinging to their bag phones."   continued ...   (Via ars technica)

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