Feeds

Customers paying more and putting up with mobes for longer

Shiny toys meet recession

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Mobile phones are lasting Americans more than 20 months these days, which is good as the average bill has risen to $78 a month, according to JD Power.

Those facts may be related, as longer contracts are used to subsidise more expensive handsets. That forces users to be content with what they've got for 17 per cent longer than they did last year, while paying almost $10 a month more than they were in 2007. But handsets are very shiny these days.

JD Power asked almost 20,000 Americans (12,000 of whom had smartphones) about their relationship with their handset, which seems seems to be turning from a brief fling into a committed affair.

"Customers are delaying an upgrade purchase due to the general economic downturn, in which the expense of purchasing a new device could outweigh the added benefit of owning it" says the company, obviously unaware of the immeasurable value of being able to play Angry Birds on the bus.

Despite (or perhaps because of) users' reluctance to shell out for new handsets the average price has fallen from $81 at the start of 2009 to $76 now, though 42 per cent of those polled didn't pay anything at all for their handset. This could explain the jump in monthly bills as operators struggle to absorb the handset costs, though JD Power has another theory:

"The increase is mainly due to the addition of data-related services, increases in usage activity such as text messaging, and added fees and taxes."

Once they'd got their handsets Apple users were as smug as ever, with the iPhone winning in every satisfaction category except battery life (which unsurprisingly goes to Nokia). HTC came a close second, though when asked how satisfied they were with the operating system, HTC smartphone users said Android was "better than most", while Samsung Android users gave it the lowest possible mark, indicating that not everyone is familiar with what an operating system is.

Removing smartphones makes LG the winner by a considerable margin. Samsung comes next while Nokia gets another pounding with minimum marks across the board.

That's a very US-centric view, and Americans have yet to get used to the 24-month contracts that are rapidly becoming normal on this side of the pond - after all, we've got to pay for those shiny handsets somehow. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.