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Sony Ericsson satisfies

Sony Ericsson is the most satisfying mobile handset brand among US consumers who have owned their current mobile phone for less than two years, according to a new study.

But competition was close fought, with figures from the JD Power and Associates 2006 US Wireless Mobile Phone Evaluation Study, showing that Sony Ericsson was closely trailed by LG, Sanyo and Motorola during the third quarter.

Based on experiences reported by 21,679 US users who have owned their current mobile phone for less than two years, Sony Ericsson received the highest ratings from customers in terms of handset durability and also performed particularly well in features and battery functionality.

“Sony Ericsson has come a long way in enhancing overall customer satisfaction, as efforts to improve their product lineup have really paid off,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at JD Power and Associates.

“New model offerings and a general improvement in overall reliability have enhanced the user’s experiences and elevated the brand to the top of the rankings. In fact, Sony Ericsson has recorded the most improvement of any brand included in the past three study reporting periods starting in 2005,” said Parsons.

Indeed, the popularity of the Cyber-shot and Walkman brands of Sony Ericsson’s Japanese parent caused the company to report that net income for the third quarter almost tripled over the past year to Eur298m.

Unit sales were also up 43 per cent year on year with the company shifting 19.8 million devices.

The JD Power study also found that the average price consumers are paying for a handset has increased for the first time in two years, hitting the $94 mark – an increase of $8 from the year earlier period. This is the highest average price paid for a phone since 1994, when phones averaged $99, the study found.

JD Power attributes the price hike to the surge in popularity of small form factor, feature rich devices such as the Motorola RAZR and music phones.

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