A poll of around 4,000 mobile users across the US and UK revealed that 95 per cent would be more likely to try new mobile services if the set-up was less complicated.
Similar issues also prevent 45 per cent of people from upgrading to newer, more advanced mobile phones, and just over six out of 10 of these users said that setting up a new handset is as frustrating as changing a bank account.
"The message from consumers is that phone set-up is simply too complex. Clearly, this needs to be addressed," said Matthew Bancroft, vice president of Mformation.
"Up and running 'straight out of the box' means exactly that, and our research shows that improving this aspect of the mobile phone purchasing experience will help to improve profitability for many players in our industry. "
The majority of those surveyed indicated that it is not just the manufacturers that are losing out, and that operators are missing a trick because new data services are equally as difficult to set up and learn how to use.
An increasing number of people want to use mobile phones for email, browsing, instant messaging (IM), social networking and picture messaging, but up to half find that one or more of these services do not work properly when the phone is switched on for the first time.
As a result, 61 per cent of respondents said that they simply stopped using mobile applications when they could not solve the issues they were having.
"Subscribers are clearly convinced of the value of mobile services, but 85 per cent of the people we surveyed find it frustrating to have to go through a number of steps when they want to activate a service or application," said Bancroft.
"It's a bit like getting a new gadget, then finding that the batteries aren't included. Providing mobile subscribers with a more seamless experience will remove these pains."
The consensus among respondents is that it should take no longer than 15 minutes to set up a new mobile phone, but the current average is nearly an hour.
This is linked closely to the fact that the majority of users are worried about losing mobile data when changing handsets.
However, it does seem that some operators and manufacturers are getting the message. Nokia, for instance, offers the ability to 'beam' the entire contents of one Nokia phone to a new one, and the T-Mobile G1 provides very easy set-up of contacts, calendar and IM to customers of Google's services.
Mobile users put off by complex set-up
By Ian Williams on Jan 20, 2009 2:50PM