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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 19, 2009

Mformation: Mobile phone set-up too complex

Has the mobile phone industry forsaken the average user in a bid to please techies and gadget freaks? According to a recent report from Mformation this could well be the case, and action needs to be taken to ensure all mobile phone users benefit from the wealth of capabilities modern devices offer.

by Helen Leggatt

mformation logo.jpgIf you're anything like me, once your new mobile phone is released from its wrapping it gets passed to the family geek to set it up.

I take solace in the knowledge there are many like me. According to Mformation Technologies Inc.'s latest survey of 4,000 mobile phone users in the U.K. and U.S., as many as 85% were "challenged" when setting up a new mobile phone with 61% likening it to the complexity of changing bank accounts.

"Operators and device manufacturers need to remove barriers to service uptake and unlock the true power of advanced mobile technology. The message from consumers is that phone setup is simply too complex. Clearly, this needs to be addressed," said Matthew Bancroft, Vice President, Mformation.

If their new mobile phones were easy to set up a massive 95% of those surveyed said they would use more of the features on offer. But when a mobile phone that is meant to take around 15 minutes to set up takes an hour, they're off to a bad start.

Earlier this year, a survey by The NPD Group found that nearly half of U.S. mobile phone owners didn't use many of their device's advanced features, mainly because they were unaware of exactly what their mobile phone was capable of.

"Operators and other handset retailers have an opportunity to educate customers as to the capabilities of their handsets in the wake of slower overall handset sales," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for NPD.

This is also true for purchasers of new mobile phones and companies would be well advised to develop better "up and running straight-out-of-the-box" technology, or at the very least provide better support at point of sale onwards. This may go some way towards preventing the 61% of Mformation's respondents who say they would stop using their new mobile phone if they couldn't get it to do what they wanted straight away, doing just that.

Tags: gadgets, Mformation, mobile phone, technology

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