Customer support and after-sales service were considered very important and were the top criteria when purchasing a new mobile device, followed closely by brand image, according to a survey of 2,500 smartphone and tablet users from the top five smartphone regions globally, including the United States, Germany, Brazil, India and China.
The survey, conducted by smartphone customer care specialist B2X Care Solutions, found more than half of respondents own a smartphone or tablet that's less than one year old, and Americans tend to be the most satisfied with their repair process while Brazilians are the least satisfied.
In America and China, most consumers wait less than 24 hours to have their smartphone repaired while in Brazil, India and Germany it takes almost 8 days for the same repair.
Raul Sfat, vice president at B2X, told eWEEK that the most surprising finding from the study was that the addiction and dependence on devices is even stronger in the emerging countries than in the United States.
"We were also surprised that the brand image was more important than technical features in these countries, making the devices a real status symbol in society," he said.
The survey found the most common device repairs globally include software malfunctions, broken phone screens and faulty phone batteries, while the top customer support problems include transferring data to a new device, setting up email and connections, and understanding new features.
The survey also offered a regional breakdown of smartphone behavior, revealing 98 percent of Americans between the ages of 16-29 sleep with their smartphones and 13 percent wouldn't give up their smartphone for a week even if they were paid $500.
Sadly, one in seven Americans said they would instead give up their best friend for a week before giving up their smartphone, and one in six Brazilians would give up their spouse for a week before their smartphone.
The Chinese spend the most money on smartphones, with more than 75 percent of respondents spending more than $250 when purchasing a device and 80 percent own two or more smartphones, which they tend to replace after less than a year.
Even though Germans are the least addicted to their smartphones, 58 percent still keep their phones on their body or within reach at all times during the day and 84 percent said they want the most technically advanced model when purchasing a new device.
"The addiction behavior is somewhat alarming when you think about how the future could develop," Sfat said. "Will people still meet or communicate face to face? Will we even need or bother to go into a store to buy something? Will all communication be done via electronic device? Because information has become instantaneous, people are more knowledgeable than in the past. Nowadays the consumer is often much better informed than a sales agent in a store when buying something."
The survey, which polled a sample set of smartphone users from 16 to 65 years old who personally owned their devices, included 518 respondents from the United States, 535 from Germany, 507 from India, 515 from China and 503 from Brazil.