February 4th 2008
By Mike Flaminio
Quoting an Opinion Research study, NJBiz reports that smart phone owners are returning the devices at high rates.
"Smartphones were the items consumers had the most difficulty with," says Kevin Wood, senior technology analyst, Opinion Research. "Prior to the release of iPhone, smartphones were predominantly used by information technology pros, tech geeks and business decision makers.
"Smartphone manufacturers are still producing out-of-the-box instructions more in line with what a tech savvy IT pro might do," says Wood.
The online poll of about 2,000 respondents who received any 16 different products revealed the following:
• 21 percent of smart phone owners returned them, because of difficulty using features
• 14.5 percent of BlackBerry owners surveyed returned the device
• 12 percent of iPhone owners surveyed returned the device
The survey considered smart phones, the BlackBerry and iPhone all to be separate categories.
This news contrasts with sales data collected by NPD that shows smartphone sales rising 163 percent in Q3 '07 over the same period in '06.
Editor's note: I don't know how returns are reckoned vis-a-vis inventory and sales, but 12 percent of 4 million is 480,000--perhaps a big chuck of Apple's "missing iPhones". Also, perhaps a major source of unlocked, gray-market handsets that are appearing worldwide...
What's your take?