Report: Support costs for Smartphones higher than mobiles

Smartphones cost the mobile industry almost 400% more to support over their lifetime than most mid-range feature phones, a report from research firm WDSGlobal said.

WDSGlobal also said while a large percentage of this increase directly correlates to the complexity of some smartphone technologies, the report has also identified that their owners have far higher expectations of their mobile equipment, broader uses for them and ultimately engage with support departments far more frequently than users of other mobile technologies.

The report based its findings on a study of customer care operations in the US, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia, with support data drawn from a variety of mobile operators and handset manufacturers, WDSGlobal said.

Findings show that technical support requirements across mid-range feature phones are largely contained to configuration of services such as MMS, internet access and POP3 email.

However, the smartphone segment is driving an increasing number of support requests that include configuration with external products and services; such as PC synchronization, remote modem set-up and push email connectivity.

This results in longer calls and a need for skilled support agents; both of which contribute to the 387% hike in the 'cost to support' or the measure by which an organization can calculate a device type's likely support costs during its lifetime, the report further said.