Apple, LG rank highest in JD Power study

Apple has been named number one in consumer satisfaction in the consumer and business smartphone market while LG is number one in the traditional feature phone market, according to the JD Power and Associates 2009 Wireless Consumer Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study.

Surprisingly, in the overall customer satisfaction rank, Nokia, the world's largest mobile handset maker, is placed at the bottom along with Kyocera. Similarly, in the smartphone category, the Finnish mobile maker couldn't even find a place among seven handset makers.
 
A smartphone is a phone with an operating system that is able to run more than the built-in applications while a feature phone is a phone with pre-set applications that can allow downloads but is not considered a smartphone. BlackBerry is a smartphone while Nokia Supernova is a feature phone.
 
The study pointed out that satisfaction among consumer smartphone owners has increased by 14 index points (on a 1,000-point scale) from just six months ago, while satisfaction among business owners has increased by 43 index points from 2008 as these devices have become more stylish, customisable and user-friendly.
 
Among traditional mobile phone owners, overall satisfaction has declined by six index points from April 2009, likely as a result of heightened awareness among traditional mobile phone owners of advanced features available on smartphones, the study said.
Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones used primarily for personal reasons, with a score of 811, and performs particularly well in ease of operation, operating system, features and physical design. LG (776) and RIM BlackBerry (759) follow Apple in the rankings. HTC, Motorola, Palm and Samsung were rated as "The rest".
 
Among customers who use their smartphones primarily for business purposes, Apple ranks highest with a score of 803, followed by RIM BlackBerry (724).
LG ranks highest in overall wireless customer satisfaction with traditional handsets with a score of 723, performing well across all factors, particularly battery function, features and operation. LG is followed by Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung and Sanyo. Nokia is just few points ahead of Kyocera due to its better battery performance.
 
The study also pointed out an interesting trend about landline phones that are facing a slow death at the hands of mobile phones. JD Power says more than 40% of smartphone owners have entirely replaced landline calling with mobile phone calling, while only 27% of traditional handset owners have done the same.
 
Among business smartphone owners, more than one-half report downloading third-party games for entertainment, while 46% report downloading travel software such as maps and weather applications—indicating that business users are also integrating their devices into their personal lives. In addition, nearly one-half of owners (46%) report downloading business utility applications to increase productivity.
-Yogesh Sapkale [email protected]
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A few companies refuse to divulge employee remuneration details
At a time when every regulator and investor is beating the drum for greater transparency through disclosures and ministers are expressing concerns about obscene salaries, several companies are blatantly flouting disclosure requirements specified by the Companies Act, 1956. The Act, which outlines the regulatory and legal framework for companies in India, lays down specific guidelines regarding disclosures to be made by companies in their annual reports. One such guideline requires companies to disclose particulars of employees who draw a certain amount of salary (now Rs2 lakh per month) as an annexure to the director’s report. The disclosure includes the name, designation, qualification, experience and the name of the previous company where employed. The purpose is to enable shareholders of the company to know if salary is in fact commensurate with the experience and qualification of such employees.
 
However, several companies have decided to ignore this aspect and have not disclosed these details in their annual reports. These companies include ABG Shipyard, Aptech, Core Projects, Sterlite Industries, Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd and Network18, among others. In their defence, the companies are quoting a certain provision in the Companies Act and a SEBI circular to avoid the disclosure.
 
Section 217(2A) of the Companies Act makes it mandatory for every listed company to include in the director’s report a statement showing the name of every employee who is in receipt of remuneration (currently not less than Rs2 lakh) or which is in excess of that drawn by managing director or whole-time director or manager and holds by himself or along with his spouse and dependent children, not less than 2% of the equity of the company. The section also requires that the statement mention whether such person is a relative of any director or manager of the company and if so, the name of such director. 
 
However, companies are skipping this section by taking recourse to Provisio (b)(iv) of Section 219(1) of the Companies Act and SEBI circular dated 26.04.2007 on sending abridged annual reports to the shareholders. The provision gives a listed company the option to send a statement containing salient features of balance sheet, profit and loss account and auditors’ report to the members of the company. The SEBI circular, in order to align Clause 32 of the Equity Listing Agreement with the provisions of Section 219(iv) made an amendment in the clause to permit listed companies to send a statement containing salient features of the above documents instead of sending full balance sheet and annual report. Using these legal aspects to their advantage, companies are not sending the required list of employees along with the annual report and are instead asking shareholders to write back to them in case they need the list.
 
This amounts to going against the Act as it supersedes all other enactments. Also, there is no way a company can abridge its director’s report or any of its annexures as it is dealt with a separate section (section 217 and not Section 219). Nowhere in the SEBI circular is there any clause which gives a listed company an option not to send the list of employees covered under section 217(2A) which is a part of the director’s report.
 
These companies should take a leaf out of the book of corporate governance biggies like Infosys Technologies and Tata Group of companies, who have set a good example by regularly making necessary disclosures in their annual reports.
Sanket Dhanorkar [email protected]
 
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COMMENTS

P P Valsan

8 years ago

This is nothing blatant violation of the provisions of act by some fraudulant people. By not sending salary details how much papers or cost they are saving? Most of the annual reports tom toms about their social commitments and imaginery achievements. If an investor have to write for getting information, he have to spend extra money and time which is not justifiable.

Gammon Infra lowest bidder for NHAI project
 
If things fall in place, Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd (GIPL) will soon have a new project and thus a new wholly-owned subsidiary too. GIPL has claimed to be the lowest bidder for National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) project connecting Patna to Muzaffarpur.
 
“We are the lowest bidders for the project and are awaiting a notification of intent (NOI) from NHAI,” said Parvez Umrigar, managing director, GIPL.
 
The project is on an annuity model connecting Patna to Muzaffarpur, to be built on a BOT basis. GIPL has a total committed capital expenditure of Rs10,000 crore across various sectors and Rs2,000 crore in the road sector alone.
 
GIPL creates a new subsidiary or special purpose vehicle for every new project it wins. At present, the company has some 16 projects, out of which it holds majority stake in 13 projects.
- Amritha Pillay [email protected]
 
 
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