27 December 2006

The price of smartphone complexity

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Mobile device
“Incredibly, one in seven mobile phones are returned within the first year of purchase by subscribers as faulty, according to research by Which?,” writes Doug Overton, head of communications at WDSGlobal, in Mobile Marketing Magazine.

“This statistic will doubtless raise eyebrows and drive speculation over product design flaws and standards in build performance. Further analysis into the nature of these returns, however, reveals the even more disturbing statistic that 63% of the devices being returned have no fault.”

“This figure, unearthed as part of a study into mobile device returns trends in the UK, places mobile phone ‘No Fault Found’ returns at a level 13% above the average for the consumer electronics sector.”

“With operators, manufacturers and retailers collectively covering administration, shipping and refurbishment costs approaching £35 per device, this equates to a potential cost to the UK mobile industry of £54 million, and more significantly a global industry cost of $4.5 billion (£2.3 billion).”

So why are so many devices returned without fault? WDSGlobal is working alongside a leading UK mobile retailer to implement mechanisms and services to significantly reduce the impact of the No Fault Found phenomenon. Analysis of over 15,000 monthly calls arriving at the specialist retail returns/diagnostics line provides a valuable insight into the causes behind the trend.”

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