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The Top Ranked Features for Mobile Phones

Every year cell phones seem to have additional features tacked on to them, and certainly this year is no exception. In-Stat recently completed an assessment of the mobile devices sector, to learn more about user needs.

Here in the U.S. market, Verizon is adding broadcast mobile TV this year, while Sprint and Verizon tout their turn-by-turn GPS services, and AT&T ramps up its 3G services and devices, while T-Mobile plans to soon launch a Voice over Wi-Fi service.

So, more and more features, but are any of them actually attracting mobile phone service subscribers?

In-Stat wanted to uncover the facts. In the last week of April, In-Stat conducted a survey of cell phone users, and focused just on the responses of those subscribers that planned to replace their mobile phones in the foreseeable future.

What features did users want in their new phones and which features would prompt users to replace their phones? In-Stat conducted a similar survey last year and wanted to compare this year's results with last year.

So what did they discover? First, they asked respondents what they didn't like about their current phones, and poor battery life was noted by over 30 percent overall, this year and last.

Alltel subscribers had the worst time with their battery life, reported as a problem by over 50 percent of their subscribers. T-Mobile subscribers were least upset by poor battery life, but still almost a quarter cited it as their biggest dislike.

While battery life of their phones was a concern for many, only 10 percent of users cited it as the main reason they want to replace their current phones. The biggest reason given for why they wanted to replace their current phones was because they lacked features that they wanted.

This year, 32 percent of users were replacing their current phone because it lacked a feature they wanted, 34 percent cited this as the reason for their phone replacement last year. So what feature did users want?

Fifty-four percent wanted GPS directions and mapping in their phones, and this was also the highest request last year. In second place was Bluetooth, with 50 percent of users wanting that feature. In third place, equal with Bluetooth was Wi-Fi, requested by 49 percent of users (survey participants could request more than one feature).

Just how are all these features going to fit into a cell phone? Users had an answer to that as well. While only 9 percent currently had PDA type phones, 23 percent planned to make a PDA phone their next phone. Users believe that a PDA form-factor is probably best when it comes to easily enabling multiple features.

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