Google Mobile Has Mountain to Climb to Top Verizon, Cingular/AT&T and T-Mobile Subscriber Satisfaction

By Jack Myers TomorrowToday Archives

As Google promises to aggressively move into the mobile business with open source applications and free or low cost subscription models, Jack Myers Media Business Report has explored the satisfaction of 8,000 Americans with their cell phone carriers, the content and tools they're most interested in, and their mobile usage patterns. While perceptions may be that overall satisfaction toward mobile carriers is low, the Myers survey finds just the opposite. In fact satisfaction tops 80% for the major carriers among all demographic groups.

More than seventy percent of Americans* report they have used a cell phone in the past week. The younger they are, the more likely they are to have sophisticated features such as internet connectivity, cameras, video players and e-mail access. For example, 55% of 18 to 24 year olds have cell phone with camera, 23% have a video player in the mobile phone, and 28% have internet connectivity. By comparison, only 25% of adults 55 to 64 have a cell phone equipped with a camera, 3% with a video player and 7% with internet connections. Even larger percentages of 15 to 17 year old teens have advanced capabilities.


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Among the respondents to the Myers Emotional Connections™ Research who have cell phones, 28.5% have AT&T or Cingular, 25% have Verizon, 12.4% have Sprint, 11.5% have T-Mobile and 5.2% have Nextel. Slightly more than 3% of teens have Virgin Mobile. Other carriers own the remainder of the market. Verizon service is significantly lower among African American and Hispanic households, while Sprint usage increases among these groups. The Myers Emotional Connections™ Research was conducted in June 2007 among 8,000 nationally representative households. Respondents were 15 to 64 in households with cable and/or satellite TV with at least 60 channels, and household TV viewing at least one hour daily.

When asked to rate their satisfaction with their current cell phone provider on a seven point scale, more than 80% of respondents rated Verizon, T-Mobile and Cingular/AT&T in the top three box (5/6/7). Only Fuse Mobile, which has a .3 market share, dropped below 50% satisfaction (46.7%). Verizon topped the charts for satisfied customers with 84.2% top-three box ratings followed by T-Mobile at 81% and Cingular/AT&T at 80.3. Separately, Cingular was slightly ahead of AT&T. Virgin Mobile, Amp'd Mobile, Sprint and Qwest were all rated positively by more than 70% of subscribers, while Bell South, Nextel and Boost were rated favorably by at least 60% of their subs.

MYERS EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONSTM RESEARCH
ON MEDIA USAGE & CONFIDENCE
Rate your satisfaction with your current cell phone provider on a 1 to 7 scale
Top 3-Box Rating 5/6/7 on a 7 point scale (1= Being extremely dissatisfied, 7= Being extremely satisfied) 
  Adults
(18-64)
Teens
(15-17)
Adults
(18-24)
Adults
(18-49)
Adults
(25-54)
Adults
(55-64)
  % RK % RK % RK % RK % RK % RK
 Verizon 84.2% 1 81.0% 5 85.4% 1 84.8% 1 84.2% 1 82.8% 4
 T-Mobile 81.0% 2 86.2% 2 81.1% 2 81.3% 2 81.0% 2 81.3% 5
 Cingular 80.6% 3 82.1% 4 78.4% 3 79.3% 4 80.2% 5 85.5% 3
Cingular and AT&T* 80.3% 4 83.3% 3 77.8% 4 78.9% 5 79.8% 6 85.9% 2
 AT&T 78.0% 5 89.5% 1 73.2% 6 75.5% 6 77.1% 7 88.2% 1
 Virgin Mobile 77.8% 6 66.7% 8 68.2% 8 79.8% 3 80.9% 3 71.4% 8
 Other 75.4% 7 74.5% 7 74.0% 5 74.9% 7 75.7% 8 75.2% 6
 Amp'd Mobile 75.0% 8 n/a n/a n/a n/a 74.1% 8 n/a n/a n/a n/a
 Sprint 72.0% 9 79.7% 6 70.7% 7 71.5% 9 71.9% 9 74.7% 7
 Qwest 71.2% 10 n/a n/a n/a n/a 66.7% 11 66.7% 11 n/a n/a
 Nextel 64.6% 11 n/a n/a 58.2% 9 65.5% 12 66.0% 12 66.7% 9
 Bell South 63.4% 12 n/a n/a n/a n/a 62.2% 13 80.8% 4 n/a n/a
 Boost Mobile 61.2% 13 n/a n/a n/a n/a 61.7% 14 68.8% 10 n/a n/a
 SBC 56.3% 14 n/a n/a n/a n/a 68.2% 10 n/a n/a n/a n/a
 Fuse Mobile 46.7% 15 n/a n/a n/a n/a 47.6% 15 n/a n/a n/a n/a
* Weighted Average                        

Working to Google's advantage is cell phone users' increasing focus on cost of service. When asked to identify the services that would be very important to them in determining which cell phone provider they select in the future, price is named by 84%, including 90% of adults 55 to 64 and 74% of teens 15 to 17. The only other service identified as a priority by a majority of respondents is coverage area, named by 80% of all respondents and 66.5% of teens. Teens and 18 to 24 year olds identify access to ring tones as their third most important criteria (33%), while adults 55 to 64 name driving directions third (21%). Access to video is named as a priority service by only 7% of the total but 19% of teens. Access to music is identified by nearly 30% of teens and 20% of the 18 to 24 group, but only by 11% of adults 25 to 54.

MYERS EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONSTM RESEARCH ON MEDIA USAGE & CONFIDENCE
Services that would be very important to you in determining which cell phone provider
 you select in the future
  Adults
(18-64)
Teens
(15-17)
Adults
(18-24)
Adults
(18-49)
Adults
(25-54)
Adults
(55-64)
  % RK % RK % RK % RK % RK % RK
 Price 83.9% 1 74.1% 1 78.3% 1 82.2% 1 84.2% 1 90.2% 1
 Coverage 79.6% 2 66.5% 2 72.5% 2 77.7% 2 80.0% 2 87.6% 2
 Access to Ring Tones 20.7% 3 36.8% 3 30.8% 3 22.6% 3 19.6% 3 12.1% 4
 Driving Directions 18.3% 4 14.4% 9 17.3% 6 18.0% 4 18.1% 4 21.2% 3
 Access your contacts from any phone or computer 16.8% 5 24.4% 5 19.2% 5 17.7% 5 17.0% 5 12.1% 4
 High Speed Data/Internet Access 14.4% 6 19.3% 6 17.2% 7 15.2% 6 14.5% 6 9.7% 8
 Coupons & discounts from local businesses near you 11.8% 7 12.4% 11 14.4% 8 12.3% 8 11.4% 7 10.9% 6
 Access to Music 11.5% 8 29.5% 4 20.0% 4 13.3% 7 10.7% 9 4.5% 12
 Home Monitoring via cell phone 10.8% 9 8.9% 14 8.6% 13 10.9% 10 11.3% 8 10.4% 7
 Using your phone as a payment device 10.2% 10 10.9% 13 12.1% 10 11.2% 9 10.6% 10 5.0% 11
 Control Your Home TV DVR from your cell phone 9.7% 11 14.2% 10 10.2% 12 10.7% 11 10.3% 11 5.5% 10
 Notification that friends are in the same area 9.3% 12 16.9% 8 12.1% 10 10.0% 12 8.9% 12 7.4% 9
 Access to Video 7.0% 13 19.3% 6 12.5% 9 7.9% 13 6.4% 13 2.7% 13
 Access to Popular Network TV Shows 4.7% 14 12.4% 11 6.5% 14 5.3% 14 4.7% 14 1.7% 14
 None of the Above 1.7% 15 3.3% 15 1.3% 15 1.8% 15 1.9% 15 1.7% 14

Google's advantage is clearly its brand equity among younger Americans, and this group's skyrocketing dependence on the cell phone for a variety of services. Twenty-six percent of 15 to 24 years olds used a cell phone with e-mail access in the past week and 62% used text messaging. By comparison, only 18% of adults 25 to 54 used their cell for e-mail and 41% for text messaging, although this is still a significant percentage. On average more than 40% of 15 to 24 year old Americans use their cell phone 500 or more minutes per month for personal use. Only half that number among adults 25 to 54 use an equally high number of minutes monthly. Young males are more likely than females to spend more time using the cell phone, a reversal of traditional phone usage patterns.

*Full details of the Myers study will be published later this month as part of the Myers Emotional Connections™ "Household of the Future Report, available at www.JackMyers.com (Media Research Section). For more information contact jm@jackmyers.com


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