The proportion of wireless customers who own a smartphone with a display larger than 5 inches has skyrocketed from 26 percent to 37 percent over the last six months, two new studies from J.D. Power found.
According to the studies, device size is driven by desire for a larger display on which to view media – including movies and photos – and navigate websites, social media and apps. The reports also found the ease of use facilitated by larger screens has resulted in higher satisfaction ratings from users of bigger smartphones, with the gap in satisfaction between users of large and small (4 inches or smaller) smartphones widening from 32 to 40 points in the past six months. Users of larger smartphones were also found to spend 1.5 more hours per week using their phone than owners of smaller devices.
“Satisfaction is clearly higher among owners of larger smartphones, based on a number of reasons surrounding the physical display size and latest technology capabilities,” said J.D. Power senior director and technology, media and telecom practice leader Kirk Parsons. “It’s important for the wireless providers that offer these devices to realize that spending on new service rises when subscribers upgrade smartphones. Also, when customers are more satisfied with their smartphone selection, OEMs and carriers can benefit through increased customer loyalty and repurchase intent.”
The studies indicated satisfied customers are willing to pay more for their device, with the average price paid for a smartphone raising from $239 six months ago to $287 today. The percentage of smartphone users who own smartphone devices purchased through equipment installment plans has also increased, reaching 20 percent today over 16 percent six months ago.
The top priority named in selecting a phone was its features (31 percent), followed by price (22 percent), operating system (17 percent) and design (15 percent). Interestingly, customers who chose their phone based on operating system were found to be the most satisfied, with nearly 80 percent saying they felt loyal to their chosen smartphone brand. Satisfaction with device operation was also found to be a loyalty factor, with 83 percent of highly satisfied consumers saying the “definitely” or “probably” will purchase another phone from the same manufacturer in the future. Only 44 percent of less satisfied customers said the same.
The findings above were gleaned from results of both the 2015 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Satisfaction Study—Volume 2 and the 2015 U.S. Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction Study. The former – which was conducted between March and August of this year – surveyed the experiences of 11,464 smartphone customers who have owned their current smartphone device less than one year and are customers of one of the four tier 1 carriers. The latter – conducted between September 2014 and August 2015 – evaluated the experiences of 1,327 traditional device customers who have owned their current phone less than 18 months and are a customer of one of the four tier 1 carriers.