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"ACM SIGCHI Resources (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Scott Weiss <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 11 Jan 2006 10:27:00 -0500
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Scott Weiss <[log in to unmask]>
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Usable Products Report: Mobile Phone Media 
Downloads Are Difficult For Consumers.

Motorola’s RAZR scores 11th out of 13, due to 
extra steps & difficulty finding download service.

NEW YORK ­ 10 JANUARY 2005 ­ The global ring tone 
market is projected to surpass $9 billion during 
2006, according to LogicaCMG (2005), and yet new 
phones are no easier to use than older products. 
Usable Products Company just completed a 
comprehensive, expanded study of mobile media 
shopping, purchase, and use.  The study 
highlights Cingular’s Motorola RAZR, T-Mobile’s 
Nokia 6101, and Virgin Mobile’s Audiovox Flasher, 
in addition to ten previously-studied phones (2004).

The Motorola RAZR, available from Cingular, 
ranked 11th out of 13 phones tested in late 2005. 
Nokia’s first US flip phone, the 6101, available 
from T-Mobile, scored 7th. Audiovox’s Flasher V7, 
available from Virgin Mobile, scored 6th.

23% of all US cell phone users downloaded at 
least one ringtone in 2005, according to Ipsos 
Insights. In October 2005 alone, 3.5% of all cell 
phone users purchased a wallpaper and 3.0% 
purchased a game for their phone (M:metrics). 
LogicaCMG predicts the global ringtone market to 
triple in size from mid 2005 to mid 2006, to $9 billion.

Usable Products Company’s independent study of 
mobile telephone media purchase usability 
indicates that, despite being a multi-billion 
dollar global industry, media purchase usability 
remains as challenging as ever. Sprint’s Samsung 
and Sanyo phones are the easiest to use while the 
Motorola RAZR is much harder to use than 
expected, as is T-Mobile’s newly-released Nokia 6101 flip-phone.

Usability rankings for mobile phone enhancement purchase and installation:

1. 	Sprint Samsung a680
2.	Sprint Sanyo 5500
3.	T-Mobile Motorola v600
4.	Verizon Samsung a670
5.	Cingular LG L1400
6.	Virgin Mobile Audiovox Flasher V7
7.	T-Mobile Nokia 6101
8.	Verizon LG VX7000
9.	Sprint Nextel Motorola i710
10.	T-Mobile Blackberry 7100t
11.	Cingular Motorola RAZR
12.	T-Mobile Nokia 3660
13.	Cingular Nokia 6620

These rankings reflect Single Usability Metric 
scores based on performance and perception data. 
20 one-hour usability interviews were conducted 
on each of 13 different mobile telephone models. 
Audiovox, Blackberry, LG, Motorola, Nokia, 
Samsung, and Sanyo phones and service were 
purchased from Cingular, Sprint (and Sprint 
Nextel), T-Mobile, Verizon, and Virgin Mobile.

In December, 2005, Usable Products Company 
delivered the first commercially available Single 
Usability Metric results. “This metric enables a 
true ranking of usability of mobile telephones 
with respect to enhanced user services like 
ringtone, wallpaper, and game shopping, purchase 
and installation,” according to Usable Products 
Company CEO, Scott Weiss. “The Cingular Motorola 
RAZR’s poor usability surprised us, coming in 
with a 47% success rate for ringtone download and 
installation, as compared to a 94% success rate 
for the T-Mobile Motorola v600. Participants had 
difficulty finding the place from which they 
could buy media, and the extra steps required to 
complete downloads stymied users.

Nokia’s first US flip phone, the T-Mobile Nokia 
6101 fared little better, with a 60% success rate 
for wallpaper download and purchase, though it 
was much better than the 7% success rate achieved 
by participants using the T-Mobile Nokia 3660.

“The Audiovox Flasher V7, new to this study, was 
slightly better than average,” stated Weiss, 
“with a 79% success rate for wallpaper, but an 
84% success rate for game downloads.”

The Media Download Usability Study is a complete 
snapshot of the usability of thirteen mobile 
telephone handsets available from U.S. mobile 
carriers. Company-wide licenses are available for immediate purchase.


Usable Products Company is the premier source of 
usability design and research for the global 
mobile and wireless industry. Usable Products 
helps clients increase revenue and gain customer 
satisfaction and loyalty through improved ease of 
use. Usable Products was formed in April 1996 in 
New York and is a privately held company. For 
further information, visit or call 212.929.8599.


Scott Weiss
Principal, Usable Products Company: (212.929.8599)
Author, "Handheld Usability":

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