Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Winter 2010


Dundar Kocaoglu

Course Title

Decision Making in Engineering & Technology Management

Course Number

ETM 530/630


Smartphones, Technological innovations -- Management, BlackBerry (Smartphone), iPhone (Smartphone), Strategic planning -- Case studies, Technology -- Management, Hierarchical Decision Model


There is a wide variety of smartphones available on the market. These phones have numerous features and due to their advanced functionality, relative to regular cell phones, they are rapidly growing in popularity and more are being bought every day. However, the fact that there are a number of different features to consider from one smartphone to the next, which make the process of selecting one somewhat difficult.

This paper utilizes Hierarchical Decision Modeling (HDM) to simplify and facilitate smartphone selection by comparing the essential features. Five key criteria are chosen by the team based on research and judgment. Four of these five main criteria each have a set of sub-criteria that contribute to its total weight or relative importance. The research limited the alternatives to three top and current smartphones available on the market: Apple’s iPhone 3GS, RIM’s Blackberry Bold 9700 and Palm Pre. It was also necessary to make some assumptions in order to simplify the model. Expert judgment was derived from a student and a businessperson whose judgments were quantified by means of pair-wise and utility value comparisons. The functionality of the model was demonstrated by the fact that, as a result of their dissimilar relative judgment, each interviewee’s smartphone choice was different.

This smartphone selection decision model is designed to demonstrate the use of the Hierarchical Decision Model. If a potential buyer uses this model to select a smartphone, the final decision will depend on his/her relative weights of the different criteria and sub-criteria and how these contribute to the total weight of each alternative.


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