Mobile Phone Users Confused By Technology

    January 19, 2009

The complexity of mobile applications and services is preventing their adoption and usage, according to a survey by mobile device management company Mformation.

The majority (95%) of consumers said they would be more likely to try new mobile services if setup was easier. Difficult setup issues are also preventing 45 percent of people from upgrading to new, more advanced mobile phones. More than half (61%) of these mobile users say phone setup is a frustrating as changing a bank account.

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Matthew Bancroft
Vice President

"Operators and device manufacturers need to remove barriers to service uptake and unlock the true power of advanced mobile technology. The message from consumers is that phone setup is simply too complex. Clearly, this needs to be addressed," said Matthew Bancroft, Vice President, Mformation.

 "’Up and running straight out-of-the-box’ means exactly that, and our research shows that improving this aspect of the mobile phone purchasing experience will help to improve profitability for many players in our industry."

Some 65 percent of respondents said the mobile operators are missing out, as people will not buy a new phone because of the time it takes to set up. Basic services such as email (56%), Internet browsing (40%), instant messaging (30%) and picture messaging (29%) are some of the top applications that people find don’t always work when they turn on their phone. Because of this, 61 percent have stopped using mobile applications because they cannot solve problems with them.

"Subscribers are clearly convinced of the value of mobile services," added Bancroft. "However, 85% of the people we surveyed find it frustrating to have to go through a number of steps when they want to activate a service or application. It’s a bit like getting a new gadget, then finding that the batteries aren’t included. Providing mobile subscribers with a more seamless experience will remove these pains."

On average, people feel it should take no longer than 15 minutes to set up a mobile phone and feel confident it is working. Currently the average time is an hour.