Consumers are asking for three features when they buy their next cell phone, including better connectivity, better audio, and simplicity, according to a survey by In-Stat.

Vendors have been so focused on providing enhanced features such as touch screens, complex camera phones, and mobile Internet devices that they have lost sight of the fact that phone functionality is mediocre at best, In-Stat said.

Long-Term Opportunities in Improving Features

While a limited competitive advantage can be created in the short-term by bringing to market new hardware features and form factors, real long-term advantages will be created through the integration and improved performance of existing features, according to In-Stat.

  • Overall, phones that are well architected and intelligently designed will be winners in the marketplace.
  • Better displays, audio, and HD video will command high marketer prices.
  • Rugged phones will become more popular.

In addition, the proliferation of increasing powerful features and multiple connectivity options will increase demand on batteries.

Other Key In-Stat Findings

Digital cameras, speaker phones, and GPS were the top features of the "Ideal Phone," according to survey respondents.

Video conferencing on cellular handsets is a feature that has yet to find significant adoption but early adopters are 30-39-year-olds with high income.

Survey respondents expressed more interest in form factors that are more basic than the new "exotic" futuristic form factors such as wearable. Of the futuristic form factors, dual-screen received the most interest, followed by e-paper, and roll out displays.

Larger screens with touch sensitivity will continue to gain momentum and popularity. Customization of home screens will improve usability with personalization quickly becoming a must have.

Media features continue to penetrate the market and the rise of social networking has helped drive demand for integrated cameras.

Perhaps the most compelling advancement in user interfaces will be the integration of picoprojectors into phones. Picoprojectors overcome one of the most significant constraints inherent in mobile devices: small screens.  The strongest interest was shown by the 25-34-year age segment.

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Consumers Simply Want a Better Phone

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