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Consumers Want Less Mobile Phone Features

It's called "function fatigue" -- and it's afflicting mobile phone users worldwide and tops several consumer issues negatively impacting the embrace of new wireless devices and services, reports the CMO Council's Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME).

The CMO Council's Global Mobile Mindset Audit, a milestone study of some 15,000 consumers in 37 countries, shows that "too many functions I did not use" is the number one device problem in all regions of the world. Compounding this complaint were disappointments in the early buying and ongoing ownership experience.

Most notably, consumers gave low marks to retailers and carriers for lack of product demonstrations, sales associate knowledge, as well as slow service at the point-of-sale. The CMO Council research initiative is part of an extensive authority leadership program by FAME, a strategic interest group of top marketers, associations and experts drawn from all sectors of the wireless ecosystem.

Key findings of the study include:

- Internet destinations have eclipsed friends and family as the most important source for researching and selecting devices.

- There is a new generation of mobile technology "power user" in developing nations.

- Function fatigue and feature frustration among users will challenge device makers to improve usability and education.

- Global mobile device users, particularly in developing countries, are willing to pay for a wide range of mobile content and service offerings.

- Consumer pain begins at point-of-purchase as users see lack of demos, product knowledge and slow service as problematic at retail.

- Cost of service, along with poor battery life, tops the "Irritation Index" globally.

- Americans and Western Europeans are most bothered by loud cell phone conversations.

- Paranoia of phone and data loss/theft is a key concern along with the annoyance of service disconnects and drop-offs.

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