Consumer purchasing decisions of mobile phones are overwhelmingly made on price, with 49 percent of consumers citing it as the most important factor, according to research from WDSGlobal. Only 7 percent based their purchase on the phone brand. A combination of operator subsidies and the homogenisation of device design is having a negative impact on role of the OEM brand in the smartphone market. Only 10 percent of consumers chose a phone based on its design. Smartphone hardware is becoming commoditised. Instead, the differentiator is increasingly seen as the data features, applications and functionality of smartphones, and 34 percent of consumers cite this as most important when purchasing a handset. Almost 24 percent had problems setting up e-mail, and 17 percent experience problems setting up the internet on their device.

The study also finds that around 8 percent of consumers give up on a service without trying to find a resolution, and 29 percent do not think any of the support services available to them are effective. OEMs and operators need to focus on all touch-points that influence user experience. Only by optimising every stage of the customer lifecycle can OEMs and operators improve brand equity, the research said.