Survey: BlackBerry tops smartphone user survey

Research In Motion's BlackBerry devices claimed the top spot in a recent J.D. Power and Associates ranking of smartphone user satisfaction, with Palm and Samsung tied for second place while Motorola came in below the industry average. Judging on a series of criteria including ease of operation, OS, physical design, audio quality, battery life and utility features, J.D Power cites the speed of the BlackBerry OS and battery life among RIM's key strengths. "[F]or 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 J.D. Power and Associates senior director of wireless services Kirk Parsons in a prepared statement. Palm was praised for the ease of use of its Treo keyboards, voicemail functionality and its home screen icons.

According to J.D. Power, customer satisfaction will profoundly influence the future of the smartphone market--highly satisfied buyers are 50 percent more likely to stick with the same brand of when they upgrade devices. In addition, users who claimed they are "delighted" with their smartphones are 80 percent more likely to recommend their brand of device to friends or colleagues.

Additional J.D. Power and Associates findings:

  • Thirty-five percent of smartphone owners download third-party software. Most common downloads: Games (51 percent), travel-related programs (42 percent) and business applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel (36 percent).
  • Leading factors behind selection of a specific brand of smartphone are PDA/PIM functionality, Internet capabilities, Bluetooth options, general ease of use and overall form factor/style.
  • Thirteen percent of survey respondents said they needed device repairs to fix various software and hardware issues.
  • Palm Treo owners paid the most on average ($313), while Motorola smartphone users spent the least on their devices at an average of $194.

For more on the J.D. Power and Associates smartphone survey:
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