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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 November, 2003, 10:52 GMT
Smart phones fox frustrated users
Samsung smartphone
People know about basic phone functions
Mobiles phones are getting so smart that many people are struggling to use them properly.

Research shows that many features on smartphones go unused because the gadgets are so difficult to configure.

Users are frustrated by the fact their smartphone is almost as versatile as a PC, but few operators give them help to get the most out of the device.

Survey sponsors Intuwave said phone firms must give more support and help people get more from their handset.

Helping handset

Smartphones set themselves apart from more mundane mobiles by the sheer number of extras they have inside.

Gadgets such as the XDA II, Nokia 6600, SonyEricsson P900 and the Samsung i600 phones are all smartphones as they cram e-mail, multimedia messaging, camera, games, video and music player and more into one svelte package.

There is a huge gap here ... and it's high time we saw a mobile care revolution
Andrew Wyatt, Intuwave
Those interviewed were found to be using many of the functions of their phone, with 50% sending multimedia messages, while 45% use them to manage their diary, or play games (28%) and browse the web (38%).

But the sheer number of features is proving too much for many others.

The Intuwave survey found that almost one-third of users, 30%, had problems working out the full range of features on their handset.

It also found that 29% of those questioned had no idea how to download programs to the smartphone to get it to do more.

It also found that many users, 19%, would like to send and receive e-mail on their phone, while 22% want to back-up information to a PC, but few could find out how.

'Caring revolution'

Intuwave points out that configuring the e-mail function on the SonyEricsson P800 involves 12 separate parameters. A mistake in just one of these can scupper any chance of using the device to send and receive mail.

Andrew Wyatt, a spokesman for Intuwave, said users were not getting the help they needed to use all the functions on their phone.

"There is a huge gap here," he said, "and it's high time we saw a mobile care revolution."

Mr Wyatt said it was in the interests of operators to ensure users were familiar with their phones and could get the most out of them, as people who were happy with their handset were likely to use it much more.

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