Smartphone users all over the world are failing to tap their device’s full potential because of confusion over data tariffs, a poor understanding of new services plus privacy and security concerns, a new survey has revealed.
The research, conducted by Ernst & Young, found that despite the rapid adoption of smartphones and the potential offered by their services regular usage remains low.
One in three mobile customers use web browsing, IMS and social media, while fewer than one in five are regular users of video, VoIP and app stores.
The primary reason for this was consumer fear of overspending: 38 percent of the survey’s respondents stopped using mobile web browsing because they were concerned about their expenditure.
Almost one in three reported that they were confused by mobile data tariffs and functionalities, or simply do not understand the different pricing options available.
Lack of awareness about smartphone services and their benefits was another barrier to adoption.
Thirty-five percent of consumers reported that they had no intention of using mobile web browsing—and 34 percent said they had not even heard of the service.
Similarly, 63 percent of respondents said that they had not heard of social media, and 46 percent did not know about operators’ app stores.
Consumers additionally feel poorly informed about new mobile services, the survey found.
Forty-six percent felt that their service providers do not promote new offerings effectively, or know if they are promoted at all.
Confusion remained even in tech-savvy markets like the US and the Netherlands, despite a high demand for new smartphone services generally.
The results suggest that established mobile data service propositions need to be reassessed.
“Consumers require high levels of reassurance from their service providers, particularly for functions such as mobile payments that have the capacity to transform the device into much more than a communications tool,” Adrian Baschnonga, Ernst & Young’s Senior Telecommunications Analyst, said.
Jonathan Dharmapalan, Ernst & Young’s Global Telecommunications Leader, added: “If operators do not change the way they communicate, by increasing billing transparency, improving level of customer service and producing clearer marketing messages, they will fail to take advantage of the opportunities that exist.”