Surveys and marketing research are important things. Without them, companies would be flying blind.

The Seattle P-I points us to the CFI Group Smartphone Satisfaction Survey [pdf link] of 1,074 people, and the boys and girls in Redmond can't be happy with the results. Results are broken down into the following devices:

  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Pre
  • BlackBerry
  • Treo
  • Other

Ouch. At least the Nokia fans our feeling our pain, as Windows Mobile and Symbian both apparently had such low mindshare as to fall into the "other" category. CFI spells it out:

Throughout this report we have focused on the main ‘branded’ smartphones like iPhone, Android, Pre, BlackBerry,
and Treo. And yet there are many more smartphones in use
today, manufactured by the likes of LG, Samsung, Motorola,
and Nokia, running either the Windows Mobile or Symbian
operating system. What’s going on with these smartphones?

For one thing, many users can’t identify their operating
system. While Android users know they have phone on the
Android platform, most Windows Mobile or Symbian users
have no idea what operating system is running their phone.
This lack of branding and awareness can only hurt the
generic smartphone.

Obviously, that's not good. We're expecting big things from Microsoft with Windows Mobile. We'll repeat it until we're blue in the face: Microsoft has proven it can marry a compelling user interface with sleek and sophisticated hardware with the Zune HD. It for darn sure better do so with Windows Mobile 7 (and we still have to figure out where exactly the Project Pink phones fit in).

And we'll go one further and say that this is the reason Microsoft is pushing the "Windows phone" strategy so hard. Microsoft has some great manufacturers behind Windows phones. HTC. Samsung. Sony Ericsson (for now). LG. Acer. Once upon a time, Palm. But, outside of the Treo line, mindshare is still lacking, as evidenced by this survey. Will Windows Mobile 7 and the whole "Windows phone" strategy begin to turn that around? (And we say "begin" because to expect an iPhone-like response is just not rational, for smartphone manufacturer.) News at 11.