Report says Mobiles are too complicated

Function Fatigue is afflicting mobile technology users worldwide and tops several consumer issues negatively impacting the embrace of new wireless devices and services, says the CMO Council’s Global Mobile Mindset Audit.

The Audit, a milestone study of some 15,000 consumers in 37 countries, shows that “too many functions I did not use” is the number one device problem in all regions of the world.

Compounding this complaint were disappointments in the early buying and ongoing ownership experience. Most notably, consumers gave low marks to retailers and carriers for lack of product demonstrations, poor levels of knowledge among sales associate, and slow point-of-sale service.

Other key findings:
• Function fatigue and feature frustration among users will challenge device makers to improve usability and education

• Global mobile users, particularly in developing countries, are willing to pay for a wide range of mobile content and service offerings
• Cost of service along with poor battery life tops the Irritation Index globally
• Americans and Western Europeans are most bothered by loud cell phone conversations
• Paranoia about phone and data loss or theft is a key concern, along with the annoyance of disconnects and drop-offs
• The USA lags all other regions in mobile device ownership, advanced feature adoption, intent to buy and dependency.

Given the opportunity to reengineer their own devices, mobile users would first upgrade memory and storage and reduce the form factor; then improve design and styling, and make the device simpler and easier to use; and lastly, improve voice quality.

“Clearly, wireless operators, device manufacturers and sales channels need to be much closely aligned and integrated in creating a simpler, more satisfying and predictable user experience,” notes Dave Murray, director of the CMO Council’s Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME).

There certainly appears to be a real opportunity for device makers and carriers to differentiate themselves by improving the buying experience.