Handset complexity hinders uptake of new services and devices

Mformation Technologies finds that 95 percent of mobile users would buy more services if the setup were easier
Operators are missing out on revenue because the complexity of setting up new handsets and services deters a sizable majority of subscribers.

Complexity is impeding uptake and usage of mobile applications and services, according to an Mformation Technologies-commissioned survey of 4000 people in the United States and UK by Coleman Parkes.

Almost all those surveyed (95 percent) said they would be more likely to try new mobile services if setup was easier. Complex setup issues are also preventing nearly half those surveyed from upgrading to new, more sophisticated mobile phones. Sixty-one percent of these mobile users rated phone setup as equal in frustration to changing a bank account.

More data shows mobile operators losing out to handset complexity:

  • 65 percent of those surveyed hesitate to purchase new phones because of the difficulty they anticipate in setting it up.
  • 78 percent would change handsets more regularly if the setup process was less painful.
  • 88 percent would use revenue-generating mobile applications and services if setup were easier.

Even basic services such as e-mail, Internet browsing, instant messaging and picture messaging are among the top applications and services that people say don’t always work when they first switch on their phones. As a result, a majority (61 percent) has stopped using mobile applications because they cannot solve problems with them.

“Operators and device manufacturers need to remove barriers to service uptake and unlock the true power of advanced mobile technology," said Matthew Bancroft, Mformation VP. "‘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."

On average, people think it shouldn't take longer than 15 minutes to set up a new phone and feel confident it is working — unlike the current average of nearly an hour.