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Blackberry Mobility Featured Article


December 29, 2009

Cell Phone Users Want Better Phone Technology: In-Stat Study

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Touch screens, open OS and Internet access are all great, but consumers are asking cellular handset vendors to make a better actual, well, phone.

So finds market research firm In-Stat. 'In many cases vendors have been so focused on making complex camera phones, music phones or mobile Internet devices, they have lost sight of the fact that phone functionality is mediocre at best,' says Frank Dickson, In-Stat (News - Alert) analyst.


The firm conducted a survey of over 1,300 respondents, asking 'What features are desired on your next phone?' The top three responses were better connectivity, better audio and simplicity. You know, where you don't have to press a finger over your ear to hear.

In-Stat officials say that in the short term 'a limited competitive advantage can be created by bringing to market new hardware features and form factors. Real advantages, however, will be created through the integration and improved performance of existing features.'

Sure consumers want better displays, audio, HD video, and connectivity. Rugged phones will also become more popular, InStat officials say, adding that phones that are 'well architected and intelligently designed' will be winners in the marketplace.

Mainstream features, not 'exotic' bells and whistles such as wearables, dual-screen, e-paper or roll out displays, will be in higher demand -- according to respondents, digital cameras, speaker phones and GPS were the top features on the 'ideal phone.'

Video conferencing on cellular handsets isn't a burning concern among cell phone users, but if you want to read tea leaves with a positive spin, the InStat survey found that early adopters are 30-39 year olds with high income. If you're interested in that demographic.

'Perhaps the most compelling advancement in user interfaces will be the integration of picoprojectors into phones,' InStat officials say: 'Picoprojectors overcome one of the most significant constraints inherent in mobile devices, small screens. The strongest interest was shown in the 25-34 year age segment.'

In October TMC's Jai C.S. reported that In-Stat's report “Personal Navigation Devices: Worldwide Shipment Growth Continues Despite Increasing Competition from GPS-enabled Handsets,” which covers the worldwide market for personal navigation devices, indicated a sign of maturity in the personal navigation device (PND) market as price points decline sharply, consolidation occurs, and shipment growth slows down.

The report clarified that the GPS-enabled mobile phone shipments will nearly triple by 2013, compared with 2009.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Patrick Barnard


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