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5/25/2006
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Study Finds Users Happier With Their Cell Phones

JD Power polled more than 18,000 users about the design, operation, features, durability, and battery life of their phones, and satisfaction was up by around 4% overall.

Cell phone users are more satisfied with their phones now than they were a year ago, according to a consumer study released Thursday by J.D. Power and Associates.

Specifically, consumers who participated in the study were, overall, four percent more satisfied with their phones compared to last year, the market measurement company said. The company said it polled more than 18,000 users about the design, operation, features, durability, and battery life of their phones.

The largest increases came in relation to the features included on phones and with ease-of-use, according to the company. Satisfaction in both those categories increased five percent. In particular, users expressed increasing satisfaction with features related to being able to connect to the Internet.

“As more services are added to mobile phones, the ability to navigate the handset in an easy and straightforward manner becomes paramount,” Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services for J.D. Power and Associates, said in a statement. “For example, the incidence of sending/messaging video and picture content has increased 29 percent between 2005 and 2006. Making it easier for customers to learn how to operate specific product/service offerings can increase satisfaction performance and enhance the overall wireless experience."

The survey also said that the move away from phones with a larger, so-called called 'candy bar' form factor and toward clamshell designs is serving to increase user satisfaction. It said that users reported that the sleeker clamshell phones are more satisfying to own.

Among phone vendors, Sanyo ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction, according to the study. It was trailed in the study by Samsung and Sony Ericsson, according to J.D. Powers and Associates.

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