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Brits blame Apple, Nokia, RIM et al for smartphone woes

Yet most problems appear network related

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Smartphone owners are a vocal lot, willing to vent spleen to all and sundry when their handsets don't work as well as they expect them to.

The message for manufacturers is that they're generally ready to blame you for problems. Network operators can feel doubly relieved: smartphone owners are generally not willing to switch carriers.

So reveals a survey of British smartphone owners carried out during January and February this year by device testing company Fanfare. Some 155 individuals were questioned.

We should point out up front an important caveat: just over 89 per cent of those who took part in the survey said they own a smartphone, defined for the purposes of the study as "a mobile phone that combines voice services with applications including e-mail and/or internet access".

That definition takes in a broader array of devices than you might expect - these days, the ability to download apps is what sets smartphones apart - and the market penetration of true smartphones is actually around 14 per cent, according to most market watchers.

So either a large proportion of punters think their feature phone is a smartphone, or Fanfare's sample is significantly more biased towards smartphone usage than is the general population.

We have to assume Fanfare didn't specifically target smartphone users, since just over ten per cent of the sample said they didn't own such a device.

So what did the 'smartphone' owners say? Their responses don't make comfortable reading for manufacturers or suppliers. While 34.6 per cent of respondents said they were generally happy with their phone's performance, 57.1 per cent were disappointed.

A staggering 80.3 per cent of respondents said they experience problems like application glitches, compatibility issues, crashing or freezing some of the time (51.5 per cent) or all of the time (28.8 per cent).

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