J.D. Power and Associates Reports: BlackBerry Devices Rank Highest in Inaugural Business Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study

Each Operating System Platform Excels in at Least One Particular Area, Yet

There is Still Room for Improvement

Oct 31, 2007, 01:00 ET from J.D. Power and Associates

    WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- BlackBerry devices,
 which are manufactured by Research in Motion (RIM), rank highest in overall
 customer satisfaction among business wireless smartphone users, according
 to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Business Wireless Smartphone Customer
 Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.
     (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050527/LAF028LOGO-a)
     The inaugural study measures business customer satisfaction with their
 wireless smartphone, which is a mobile phone offering advanced
 capabilities, often with personal computer-like functionality such as a
 BlackBerry or Treo. Overall satisfaction is examined across six key
 factors. In order of importance, they are: ease of operation (22%);
 operating system (21%); physical design (20%); audio (14%); battery aspects
 (13%); and utility features (10%).
     RIM ranks highest in overall smartphone customer satisfaction with a
 score of 702 points on a 1,000-point scale, performing particularly well in
 the operating system factor, which includes the speed of moving between
 applications and speed of sending/receiving e-mails. RIM also performs
 particularly well in battery aspects, including the length of battery life.
 Treo manufacturer Palm (698) and Samsung (698) tie to closely follow RIM in
 the ranking.
     "While RIM has differentiated itself from the competition in areas that
 are most important to business smartphone users, competition in this market
 is tight," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services for J.D.
 Power and Associates. "Particularly for RIM, ease of using basic
 applications and features and providing the right amount of functionality
 in a lightweight package has given the manufacturer an edge."
     The study finds that satisfaction is critical to future sales and
 profitability of smartphone manufacturers, as highly satisfied owners are
 more than 50 percent more likely to repurchase the same brand than those
 who are not satisfied with their smartphone. Additionally, owners who are
 "delighted" with their smartphone are 80 percent more likely to recommend a
 particular brand than an unsatisfied owner.
     The study also finds that customer satisfaction varies depending on the
 type of operating system -- RIM, Palm, Microsoft Windows Mobile or Symbian
 -- being used in the smartphone device, as each system has its own
 advantages. For example, customers note that the Palm system's basic
 features are easy to use, such as making and receiving calls; checking
 voice mail; using the keyboard and key pads; and understanding display
 screen symbols. In comparison, smartphone devices using the Microsoft
 Windows system perform well with regard to call quality, particularly when
 it comes to sound quality and having a wide variety of preloaded ring tones
 to choose from.
     "While each OS platform excels in a particular area, there is
 definitely room for improvement across the market as not one smartphone
 brand excels in all business application dimensions," said Parsons. "It's
 critical for manufacturers to offer a complete package of functionality and
 ease of operation that meets the business needs of customers."
     The study also finds the following key smartphone business wireless
 usage patterns:
     -- Among smartphone customers, 13 percent report having to get their
        device repaired, with software application issues, device locking up or
        display not working being the most frequently reported problems.
     -- More than 40 percent of smartphone users would like GPS (global
        positioning system) capabilities on their device, while 26 percent
        would like Wi-Fi capabilities, 22 percent want touch screen and 19
        percent would like to have a TV integrated into their device.
     -- The average reported purchase price of a smartphone device is $261.
        Palm owners report the highest purchase price at $313. Motorola has the
        lowest reported device pricing at $194.
     -- The top five reasons given for choosing a smartphone brand are:
        personal digital assistant (PDA)/personal information manager (PIM)
        functionality (50%), Internet capability (48%), Bluetooth capabilities
        (46%), general ease of use (44%) and overall design/style (44%).
     -- Thirty-five percent of smartphone owners download third-party software.
        Popular software downloads among business users include games (51%),
        travel-related programs (42%) and business applications such as
        Microsoft Word and Excel (36%).
     The 2007 Business Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study is
 based on responses from 1,089 business wireless customers who currently own
 a smartphone device. Findings are based on data collected in August 2007.
 Visit JDPower.com to view customer satisfaction ratings for wireless
 service and carrier performance, call quality, customer care, retail sales
 and mobile phone handsets.
     Overall Smartphone Index Rankings
     (Based on a 1,000-point scale)
     RIM (BlackBerry)           702
     Palm (Treo)                698
     Samsung                    698
     Industry Average           696
     Motorola                   658
     About J.D. Power and Associates
     Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is
 an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating
 in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance
 improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and
 satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers
 annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance,
 health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com.
 J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
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     Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:   MHP) is a leading
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 BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than
 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2006 were $6.3 billion. Additional
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     J.D. Power and Associates Media Contacts:
     John Tews              Syvetril Perryman
     Troy, Mich.            Westlake Village, Calif.
     (248) 312-4119         (805) 418-8103
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SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates