Who makes your mobile phone? graph of japanese statisticsWith most phones now crammed full with the latest features, most manufacturers are putting more effort into the design aspect of their phones as the differentiating feature. To see how consumers perceive the look of their mobiles, MyVoice conducted a survey into mobile phone design.


Over the first five days of September 2008 15,502 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 1% in their teens,l 15% in their twenties, 36% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 19% in their fifties.

The first phone that I felt was stunning in design terms was the Sharp Aquos with the rotating screen that could change from portrait for standard email use to landscape for One Seg television watching. That phone first came out on SoftBank, but it’s now offered by all three major carriers. To my overseas readers – have Sharp licenced that technology to any foreign manufacturers? I seem to remember hearing that Panasonic’s push-button opening for clamshells has been licenced overseas, but Panasonic seem to keep that feature to themselves as a differentiating factor for the domestic market.

In the graph, I kept Sony-Ericsson separate as some of their hardware is worldwide, some domestic only.

Research results

Q1: Who is your current mobile phone carrier? If more than one, choose the one you use privately the most. (Sample size=15,502)

NTT docomo 42.9%
au by KDDI 28.5%
SoftBank 21.2%
E-Mobile 0.1%
Willcom 2.%
Don’t use a mobile phone 5.2%

Note that this is the first survey from MyVoice where I have seen SoftBank over 20% and NTT docomo (note that they seem to have now dropped the MiXeD cAsE name) closer to 40% than 50%.

Q2: Who is the maker of the mobile phone in Q1? (Sample size=mobile phone users)

Sharp 24.4%
Panasonic 14.7%
NEC 10.9%
Toshiba 10.4%
Sony Ericsson 8.0%
Fujitsu 5.4%
Casio 5.2%
Sanyo 4.9%
Kyocera 4.5%
Mitsubishi 3.2%
Hitachi 3.0%
Nokia 0.4%
LG (Lucky Goldstar) 0.4%
Apple 0.3%
Motorola 0.2%
Other 1.5%
Don’t know 2.2%
No answer 0.4%

Q3: When you bought your current phone, how important was the design? (Sample size=mobile phone users)

Rather important 21.8%
Important to some degree 49.0%
Not really important 21.0%
Not important at all 7.5%
No answer 0.7%

Q4: When selecting a mobile phone, what aspects of the design are important? (Sample size=mobile phone users, multiple answer)

Overall shape, silouette 31.8%
Colour, colour scheme 23.0%
Screen size 11.0%
Thickness 10.0%
Button shape, size 8.9%
Feel 3.1%
Screen layout, look 2.3%
Brand, character collaboration 0.5%
Designer collaboration 0.1%
Other 1.9%
No particularly important design points 7.2%
No answer 0.2%

Q5: Which of the following describes your image of the design of docomo mobile phones? (Sample size=15,502, multiple answer)

Simple 23.4%
Traditional 16.4%
Don’t get tired of them 14.6%
Business-oriented 14.5%
Stylish 9.6%
Adult 9.4%
Cool 8.1%
Masculine 7.3%
Bulky 6.4%
Naff 5.2%
Casual 5.0%
Novel 4.2%
Light 3.8%
Gorgeous 3.7%
Futuristic 3.7%
Cute 3.5%
Feminine 2.7%
Get tired of them 2.7%
Elegant 1.8%
Retro 1.2%
Childish 0.9%
Wild 0.5%
None of the above 9.4%
Don’t know 22.6%

Q6: Which of the following describes your image of the design of au mobile phones? (Sample size=15,502, multiple answer)

Casual 19.8%
Stylish 19.5%
Novel 18.8%
Cute 15.9%
Light 12.1%
Feminine 12.0%
Simple 1.7%
Cool 10.1%
Don’t get tired of them 7.3%
Futuristic 7.2%
Childish 6.7%
Get tired of them 3.1%
Naff 2.3%
Gorgeous 2.1%
Masculine 1.8%
Business-oriented 1.7%
Adult 1.6%
Bulky 1.1%
Elegant 1.0%
Traditional 0.9%
Wild 0.9%
Retro 0.6%
None of the above 5.8%
Don’t know 21.8%

Q7: Which of the following describes your image of the design of SoftBank mobile phones? (Sample size=15,502, multiple answer)

Novel 22.8%
Simple 16.8%
Stylish 14.4%
Futuristic 12.8%
Casual 10.6%
Cool 10.3%
Light 9.6%
Cute 7.4%
Gorgeous 6.3%
Don’t get tired of them 5.3%
Feminine 5.0%
Business-oriented 4.2%
Childish 3.8%
Masculine 3.4%
Adult 3.1%
Get tired of them 3.0%
Naff 2.8%
Elegant 1.4%
Bulky 1.2%
Wild 1.2%
Traditional 0.7%
Retro 0.5%
None of the above 6.7%
Don’t know 24.0%

1 Comment

The Future of Media » Blog Archive » Not “Made in Japan?” · July 16, 2009 at 09:54

[…] mobile market is influenced by how the phone works as a fashion accessory.  According to a MyVoice survey, over 70% of respondents considered design an important factor in choosing their mobile […]

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