Consumers Are Not Smart Enough For Smartphones - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
1/30/2008
01:33 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
50%
50%

Consumers Are Not Smart Enough For Smartphones

You have one chance to guess what the most-returned gifts were this holiday season. If you guessed smartphones, you'd be right. A new survey from Opinion Research Corp. shows that 21% of gifted smartphones were returned to the store. The reason? Inability to understand the product setup process. Perhaps smartphones aren't ready for prime time after all.

You have one chance to guess what the most-returned gifts were this holiday season. If you guessed smartphones, you'd be right. A new survey from Opinion Research Corp. shows that 21% of gifted smartphones were returned to the store. The reason? Inability to understand the product setup process. Perhaps smartphones aren't ready for prime time after all.That's really shameful. One in five people found smartphones so difficult to set up that they gave up and returned them to the store. Hardware manufacturers, wireless network operators, and software/platform creators should be red-faced with embarrassment.

Says Kevin Wood, VP and senior technology analyst with Opinion Research, "Irreparable damage to a brand's reputation and perception of the company itself is at stake when a product is not easy to setup and use. Nearly 16% of the respondents we surveyed indicated that their poor setup experience significantly worsened their perception of the company that manufactured the product."

Did you hear that, product managers? How do you explain yourselves?

Unfortunately, the study doesn't dive into which models or platforms in particular were most returned. That sort of data would be very revealing, and even more embarrassing for the companies responsible for creating impossible-to-understand products. The study is slightly skewed in that it did not include the Apple iPhone nor BlackBerry devices from RIM in its questions. I am sure people returned those devices as well, but at what percentages we'll never know.

Some smartphones are easier to use than others, there's no doubt. But if one in five regular people can't figure them out, what does that tell us? The user experience isn't getting the job done right.

What do you think? Are smartphones cut out for daily use by your average Jane and Joe?

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll