Social Networking, Gaming Drive Smartphone Satisfaction

Woman-Iphone-BAs more people own and get used to using smartphones in their daily lives, two of the most common diversions that come with them -- social networking and gaming -- are driving satisfaction rates higher. 

According to J.D. Power and Associates’ latest Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study, people who regularly use their phones to access mobile channels and games are more satisfied with their devices than those who don’t.

Among people using mobile social networking applications (such as Facebook and Twitter) on their smartphones, overall satisfaction garners an 810 rating (on a 1,000-point index scale), 55 points higher than among customers who are not using their phones for such purposes. At the same time, those who use their phones for gaming have average index scores that are 61 points higher than those who do not. 

“The satisfaction index has gone up across the board,” Uma Jha, senior director of mobile services at J.D. Power, tells Marketing Daily. “Once you get used to the experience [of a smartphone], that really connects with consumers.”

The study found that two-thirds of smartphone users have downloaded social networking applications on their phones, and they are spending more than 100 minutes a week using them. Nearly 70% of smartphone users have downloaded games, spending 81 minutes a week playing them. Such extra usage coincides with increased spending. Gaming users spend an average of $13 more a month (and social networkers spend $12 more) on their wireless bills than comparative non-users.

Meanwhile, as the market becomes more saturated with makers and models, the individual features offered on different smartphones are becoming less important during the selection process. Only 47% of consumers in the recent study said they chose their smartphone because of a specific feature (such as a camera or social media integration or gaming capabilities), compared with 57% in 2011. Meanwhile, price differential is becoming more important, with nearly one-fifth (19%) of consumers saying the price drove their decision, compared with 14% a year ago. The number of people receiving a free smartphone has also increased from last year, according to the study.

Apple’s iPhone continued to have the highest customer satisfaction ratings, with an index score of 849, with particularly high marks for its physical design and ease of operation. HTC followed with a score of 790, while Samsung, Motorola and Nokia rounded out the top five with scores of 782, 777 and 763, respectively.

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