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In more mainstream handsets, which typically don't have touch screens or the rich feature set of smartphones, LG Electronics ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction with a score of 729. The company's handsets performed particularly well in physical design, features and operation, the study found. Following LG in rankings were Sanyo, 712, and Samsung, 703.
J.D. Power also found that customer satisfaction with smartphones that have touch screens were 40 index points higher than with smartphones that used other input methods, such as a text keyboard. Smartphones with touch screens scored 771. While touch screens on more mainstream handsets are not as readily available, those that had the feature scored 53 points higher than those devices without a touch screen. Touch-screen handsets in this category scored 756.
The study also found that smartphone users were nearly twice as likely to share multimedia messages, such as video, with other people than users of more traditional handsets. Nearly a fifth of smartphone users frequently downloaded and watched video on the device.
Six in 10 smartphone users reported downloading third-party games for entertainment, while 46% downloaded travel software, such as maps and weather applications. Nearly a third downloaded utility apps and 26% reported downloading business-specific programs. The combination of business and entertainment apps is an indication that people are integrating their smartphones into their business and personal lives, J.D. Power said.
Worldwide smartphone sales are growing much faster than the mobile phone sales as a whole. Smartphone shipments this year are expected to increase 55.4% from 2009 to 269.6 million units, according to IDC. The analyst firm said that smartphones are "the catalyst behind the rebound in the worldwide mobile-phone market this year."
The 2010 Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study is based on experiences reported by 13,590 traditional mobile phone users and 4,480 smartphone owners who have used their current mobile phone for less than two years. The data was gathered between July and December 2009.