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10/31/2007
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BlackBerrys Score Highest In Overall Customer Satisfaction

RIM's offerings outranked competitors in the 2007 J.D. Power and Associates business smartphone satisfaction study.

BlackBerrys ranked the highest in overall customer satisfaction among business smartphone users, according to a new study released by J.D. Power and Associates on Wednesday.

In the 2007 Business Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study, which surveyed 1,089 business smartphone users, overall satisfaction was measured based on six key factors: ease of operation, operating system, physical design, audio, battery aspects, and utility features.

BlackBerrys, which are manufactured by Research In Motion, ranked the highest in overall customer satisfaction with a score of 702 points on a 1,000-point scale. Business users were particularly satisfied with the BlackBerry operating system, including attributes like the ability to move between applications quickly and the fast speed of sending and receiving e-mails.

"Particularly for RIM, ease of using basic applications and features and providing the right amount of functionality in a lightweight package has given the manufacturer an edge," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services for J.D. Power and Associates, in a statement.

Business users also were satisfied with the battery life of BlackBerry smartphones. Palm Treo and Samsung smartphones ranked second behind RIM, both with a customer satisfaction score of 698. Motorola ranked below the industry average with 658 points. The industry average is 696 points.

Additionally, the study found that mobile operating systems, such as BlackBerry, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, and Symbian, have a lot to do with customer satisfaction. For example, Palm OS basic features are easy to use for making and receiving calls, checking voice mail, using the keyboard, and understanding display-screen symbols. Meanwhile, Windows Mobile-based smartphones offer good call quality, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

The study's wireless usage patterns revealed that there isn't a faultless smartphone available on the market. Most smartphones can use improvements. Among smartphone users, 13% said they've had to repair their smartphones: software application issues, smartphones locking up, or displays not working were most common problems.

More than 40% of users want their smartphones to have GPS capabilities, 26% want Wi-Fi, 22% want a touch screen, and 19% want integrated TV capabilities.

According to the study, the average price of a smartphone is $261. Palm smartphones cost the most, with an average price of $313, while Motorola smartphones cost the least, with an average price of $194.

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