Two-thirds of smartphone users have downloaded games, social media

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J.D. Power and Associates just released its latest study on traditional mobile phone and smartphone use. According to the U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study, satisfaction on phones with a touch screen is 756 on a 1,000 scale, or 53 index points above the industry average. Slightly more than half of smartphones happen to have touch screen navigation.

"It's not unexpected that smartphone owners access social media sites from their device more frequently than traditional mobile phone owners due to features such as larger screens and QWERTY keyboards," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. "However, these findings demonstrate that equipping devices with powerful features and service is key to creating positive customer experiences with wireless devices." 

According to JD Power's Smartphone Index Ratings, key factors of overall satisfaction were ease of operation (26%); operating system (24%); physical design (23%); features (19%); and battery function (8%). The industry average was a score of 761 out of 1,000. 

For the fifth year in a row, Apple ranks highest  -- 795/1,000 down from a score of 810 last year -- among manufacturers of smartphones in the rankings and pretty much killed every ratings factor category except battery function, where it had one of the lowest scores. Motorolla and HTC follow, with scores of 763/1,000 and 762/1,000 , respectively.

There were other interesting numbers. Rates of mobile social media site usage among owners of traditional mobile phones as opposed to smart phones is an astonishingly low 9%. Further, smartphone owners who don't access social media sites scored nearly 22 points lower on their satisfaction scale than smartphone owners who do use their device to access social media sites. What does that mean? The social media experience, clearly, engages.   =

Going through these numbers reminded me of the interesting point that Frederic Filioux of Morning Memo brought up recently regarding social media and publishing. If someone approached Filioux and wanted advice on what to do with a publishing start-up in today's environment, his answer would be: mobile first.

"Audience-wise, a paid-for, mobile-based service is the best vector for business people who want permanent access to news relevant to them, especially as they are constantly on the move," Fillou wrote. "For such a target group, speed is key."

Finally, two-thirds of smartphone owners, according to the study, say that they have downloaded games or social networking apps to their devices .. Again, that's not a particularly  and  and   and 53 percent indicated having downloaded entertainment-oriented applications. Again, no major surprises here, but it might give publishers, particularly publishers in entertainment, pause to think about mobile strategy, and even -- dare I say it? -- consider something with a social gaming component a la the very successful LevelUp?

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