Consumers are holding back from using more of the applications available with smartphones because the devices are complex and support from mobile operators is poor.
A study by research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres, sponsored by mobile software company Intuwave, found the most common areas of frustration to be not knowing what features are available and not knowing how to download applications.
Most smartphone users questioned had specifically chosen their device for its enhanced functionality, rather than because it was an upgrade or provided as a standard company phone.
Of these users, half said employed their handsets for advanced messaging features such as instant messaging and MMS.
Other uses included managing personal information, such as contacts and calendar (45 per cent), downloading games and information from the internet (28 per cent) and web browsing (38 per cent).
When asked what other functions users would like to use their smartphones for, backing up information onto a PC and email came out as the two top responses with 22 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.
The research went on to reveal that network operators, device manufacturers and retail outlets are not doing enough to help consumers get the best out of their phones.
Email, the number one problem for mobile network operators' support staff, was cited as a good example of why users need support: there are more than 12 parameters to set for the email function to work on a Sony Ericsson P800 smartphone, the study stated.
Andrew Wyatt, vice president of strategic marketing for Intuwave, said: "The smartphone market is one of early adopters who, by definition, are more tech-savvy members of the population.
"Our survey highlights two main areas where these early adopters are being let down: they don't know of the full capabilities of their smartphone, and once discovered they don't have the required support to utilise those capabilities."
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