US Mobile Media Download Usability Update (Press Release)

11 Jan 2006 - 10:26am
8 years ago
1 reply
574 reads
Scott Weiss
2005

Usable Products Report: Mobile Phone Media
Downloads Are Difficult For Consumers.

Motorola’s RAZR scores 11th out of 13, due to
extra steps & difficulty finding download service.

NEW YORK ­ 10 JANUARY 2005 ­ The global ring tone
market is projected to surpass $9 billion during
2006, according to LogicaCMG (2005), and yet new
phones are no easier to use than older products.
Usable Products Company just completed a
comprehensive, expanded study of mobile media
shopping, purchase, and use. The study
highlights Cingular’s Motorola RAZR, T-Mobile’s
Nokia 6101, and Virgin Mobile’s Audiovox Flasher,
in addition to ten previously-studied phones (2004).

The Motorola RAZR, available from Cingular,
ranked 11th out of 13 phones tested in late 2005.
Nokia’s first US flip phone, the 6101, available
from T-Mobile, scored 7th. Audiovox’s Flasher V7,
available from Virgin Mobile, scored 6th.

23% of all US cell phone users downloaded at
least one ringtone in 2005, according to Ipsos
Insights. In October 2005 alone, 3.5% of all cell
phone users purchased a wallpaper and 3.0%
purchased a game for their phone (M:metrics).
LogicaCMG predicts the global ringtone market to
triple in size from mid 2005 to mid 2006, to $9 billion.

Usable Products Company’s independent study of
mobile telephone media purchase usability
indicates that, despite being a multi-billion
dollar global industry, media purchase usability
remains as challenging as ever. Sprint’s Samsung
and Sanyo phones are the easiest to use while the
Motorola RAZR is much harder to use than
expected, as is T-Mobile’s newly-released Nokia 6101 flip-phone.

Usability rankings for mobile phone enhancement purchase and installation:

1. Sprint Samsung a680
2. Sprint Sanyo 5500
3. T-Mobile Motorola v600
4. Verizon Samsung a670
5. Cingular LG L1400
6. Virgin Mobile Audiovox Flasher V7
7. T-Mobile Nokia 6101
8. Verizon LG VX7000
9. Sprint Nextel Motorola i710
10. T-Mobile Blackberry 7100t
11. Cingular Motorola RAZR
12. T-Mobile Nokia 3660
13. Cingular Nokia 6620

These rankings reflect Single Usability Metric
scores based on performance and perception data.
20 one-hour usability interviews were conducted
on each of 13 different mobile telephone models.
Audiovox, Blackberry, LG, Motorola, Nokia,
Samsung, and Sanyo phones and service were
purchased from Cingular, Sprint (and Sprint
Nextel), T-Mobile, Verizon, and Virgin Mobile.

In December, 2005, Usable Products Company
delivered the first commercially available Single
Usability Metric results. “This metric enables a
true ranking of usability of mobile telephones
with respect to enhanced user services like
ringtone, wallpaper, and game shopping, purchase
and installation,” according to Usable Products
Company CEO, Scott Weiss. “The Cingular Motorola
RAZR’s poor usability surprised us, coming in
with a 47% success rate for ringtone download and
installation, as compared to a 94% success rate
for the T-Mobile Motorola v600. Participants had
difficulty finding the place from which they
could buy media, and the extra steps required to
complete downloads stymied users.

Nokia’s first US flip phone, the T-Mobile Nokia
6101 fared little better, with a 60% success rate
for wallpaper download and purchase, though it
was much better than the 7% success rate achieved
by participants using the T-Mobile Nokia 3660.

“The Audiovox Flasher V7, new to this study, was
slightly better than average,” stated Weiss,
“with a 79% success rate for wallpaper, but an
84% success rate for game downloads.”

The Media Download Usability Study is a complete
snapshot of the usability of thirteen mobile
telephone handsets available from U.S. mobile
carriers. Company-wide licenses are available for immediate purchase.

###

Usable Products Company is the premier source of
usability design and research for the global
mobile and wireless industry. Usable Products
helps clients increase revenue and gain customer
satisfaction and loyalty through improved ease of
use. Usable Products was formed in April 1996 in
New York and is a privately held company. For
further information, visit www.usableproducts.com or call 212.929.8599.

###

Scott Weiss
Principal, Usable Products Company: usableproducts.com (212.929.8599)
Author, "Handheld Usability": handheldusability.com

Comments

11 Jan 2006 - 1:35pm
Barbara Ballard
2005

Scott,

This is particularly interesting in the light of the three different
carriers' investment in user experience. Sprint's UE group started
with the wireless division's inception - the founder of the group was
employee #50, I believe (compare with over 25,000 employees now,
ignoring Nextel, long distance, and local).

Note that companies like Samsung, Sanyo, and LG take what they learn
from Sprint (that which isn't proprietary) and make it available on
their other North American phones. Nokia and Motorola will refuse to
do anything like that (just like they try very hard to avoid making
changes on the 4th largest carrier's specifications).

Towards the bottom of the list you'll find Cingular, which doesn't
even have a device user experience group yet. They are only now
hiring the person to run the group. You'll also find more devices
from "inflexible" manufacturers such as Nokia and Motorola who have
little *direct* benefit to making add-on services easy.

Virgin Mobile takes a more involved approach in working with device
manufacturers, but Audiovox doesn't make its own devices so there is
a large gap between the carrier and the device provider (this
information is very dated).

On Jan 11, 2006, at 9:26 AM, Scott Weiss wrote:

> Usability rankings for mobile phone enhancement purchase and
> installation:
>
> 1. Sprint Samsung a680
> 2. Sprint Sanyo 5500
> 3. T-Mobile Motorola v600
> 4. Verizon Samsung a670
> 5. Cingular LG L1400
> 6. Virgin Mobile Audiovox Flasher V7
> 7. T-Mobile Nokia 6101
> 8. Verizon LG VX7000
> 9. Sprint Nextel Motorola i710
> 10. T-Mobile Blackberry 7100t
> 11. Cingular Motorola RAZR
> 12. T-Mobile Nokia 3660
> 13. Cingular Nokia 6620

---
Barbara Ballard 1-785-838-3003
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com

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