A ChangeWave survey of Apple iPhone 4 owners found satisfaction levels to be high, though still lower than those that greeted the iPhone 3GS. Major dislikes, additionally, shifted the onus from Apple to AT&T.
First came the news that Apple's iPhone 4 was the company's most
successful launch ever, with customers scooping up more than 1.7
million handsets in just three days. "Antennagate" followed, with
customers complaining that when held in a certain way - the "death
grip," as it quickly became known - the iPhone 4 lost a good deal
of reception. And then came the July 16 press conference
during which CEO Steve Jobs described the situation as blown out of proportion by the media.
So how do iPhone 4 owners really feel?
They like their phones - just not with the same enthusiasm with
which they embraced the iPhone 3GS, ChangeWave reported Aug. 4, citing
the findings of a July survey that polled 213 iPhone 4 owners and
served as a complement to an August 2009 survey of iPhone 3GS owners.
In the current survey, 72 percent of iPhone 4 owners reported being
"very satisfied" with the iPhone 4, while 21 percent were "somewhat
satisfied." "Despite these good scores," states the ChangeWave report,
"the initial iPhone 4 ratings aren't quite as extraordinary as the
early iPhone 3GS satisfaction numbers seen in our August 2009 survey."
In the latter, 82 percent of iPhone 3GS owners described themselves
as "very satisfied," while 17 percent reported feeling "somewhat
satisfied." Additionally, 50 percent of iPhone 4 owners reported that
the device exceeds their expectations, while another 50 percent said it
meets their expectations - ratings that were again shy of user
responses toward the iPhone 3GS.
When iPhone 4 owners were asked what they liked most and least,
however, Apple scored a win - at the expense of partner AT&T. In
the 2009 survey, 41 percent of iPhone 3GS owners cited short battery
life as their top dislike; in the 2010 study, however, No. 1 dislike,
cited by 27 percent of users, was the requirement to use AT&T's
network. Just behind that, 24 percent cited the coverage, speed and
quality of AT&T's 3G network. The third top dislike was the antenna
(Apple officials have done their part to suggest that more blame
lies elsewhere than with their company. When the antenna issue first
emerged, Apple told users that its smartphone wasn't losing reception, but mistakenly reporting overly good reception.
"Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place," Apple said in a July 2 statement.)
What did users like? Forty-nine percent cited the iPhone 4's screen
resolution, 31 percent were big on its upgraded 5-megapixel camera with
flash, and 30 percent named the iPhone 4's touch-screen interface.
"The emerging pattern is that while the iPhone 4 has been very well
received by new owners, the survey findings aren't quite at the
nosebleed levels seen at a similar point in time for the 3GS launch,"
The firm suggests this may be partly due to the "firestorm of
controversy" that greeted the iPhone 4, as it additionally found that,
despite all the controversy, iPhone 4 owners are currently experiencing
(6.3 percent vs. 5.2 percent) fewer dropped than iPhone 3GS owners - a
point Jobs also insisted on during his press conference.
"While one-in-five iPhone 4 owners do say the antenna has caused
them problems, by an overwhelming margin they are satisfied with
Apple's solution," ChangeWave reported. The firm added that the antenna
controversy appears to be settling down for good, and that with time,
iPhone 4 satisfaction levels could very well wind up equaling or
surpassing those of the 3GS. Which, really, stated the report, is "the
happy ending [Apple] should hope for."