Monday, June 05, 2006

'I just want to be able to use it'

More cell phone feature frustration...

"Nathan Bales represents a troubling trend for cellular phone carriers.

The Kansas City-area countertop installer recently traded in a number of feature-laden phones for a stripped-down model. He said he didn't like using them to surf the Internet, rarely took pictures with them and couldn't stand scrolling through seemingly endless menus to get the functions to work.

"I want a phone that is tough and easy to use," said Bales, 30. "I don't want to listen to music with it. I'm not a cyber-savvy guy."

But the wireless industry needs him to be comfortable with advanced features and actively use them. As the universe of people who want a cell phone and don't have one gets smaller, wireless carriers are counting on advanced services to generate the bulk of new revenue in coming years.

Consumers last year paid $8.6-billion for so-called data applications on their phones, up 86 percent from the year before, according to wireless trade group CTIA.

But they've shown a growing frustration with how confusing those added features can be. A J.D. Power & Associates survey last year found consumer satisfaction with their mobile devices has declined since 2003, with some of the largest drops linked to user interface for Internet and e-mail services.

That has providers working hard to make their devices easier to use - fewer steps, brighter and less cluttered screens, different pricing strategies - so consumers will not only use data functions more often but be encouraged to buy additional ones."   continued ...   (Via St Petersburg Times)

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