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Quarter of mobile phone features never discovered by users

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They are becoming ever more sophisticated, yet the average mobile phone remains largely unexplored says a new study by WDSGlobal, a specialist in support and device management services for the wireless industry.

A survey of 500 mobile users revealed that only 20% of a phone's services and features are used regularly and up to a quarter remain completely undiscovered.

"For the most part, users struggled to list more than half a dozen services featured on their current mobile phone. Regular usage was largely confined to voice, text messaging, address book, camera and alarm clock. Users do dip into additional services, such as the music player, Internet and games, but we found that a large proportion of features remained completely undiscovered," says Doug Overton, vice president of consulting and analysis at WDSGlobal. Service discovery, the company suggests, is now one of the most challenging barriers to mobile service adoption.

"Many mobile phones offer dozens of features and preinstalled applications. It's often the case that users feel overwhelmed," explains Overton. "Poor user interfaces and complex menu structures mean that many revenue generating services are buried several layers deep and are unlikely to be discovered. Conversely, users who know what they want often struggle to find the relevant application or service and simply give up."

The survey was conducted in support of WDSGlobal's vDevice offer, virtual handset simulators that allow end-users to quickly explore handset capabilities, compare features and discover new services. Using simple-to-use tutorials, vDevice simulators are also one of the most effective ways of helping end-users to set-up services such as mobile email and Internet browsing.

"Mobile operators and handset manufacturers around the world typically apply our vDevice simulators to their web-based self care portals. They fully immerse the end-user and introduce them to new features and benefits far more effectively than traditional paper-based manuals. Simulators are also hugely beneficial within customer care operations where they typically reduce average call duration for complex service set-up or synchronization issues by up to 50%," finishes Overton.

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Tags: mobile email  text messaging  wdsglobal  customer care  email  music