Apple stands alone atop J.D. Power’s latest customer satisfaction survey, the only smartphone to receive five circles. LG and Sanyo were named the top feature phone makers.
iPhone was the only smartphone to receive a five Power Circle Rating from J.D.
Power and Associates, following the release of two new reports, its 2012 "U.S.
Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study" and "U.S. Wireless
Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction Study." Both reports measured
satisfaction with devices used for less than a year.
smartphone category, Apple, with a rating of 840 out of 1,000 points, was
followed by HTC, with four circles and a rating of 793. Samsung and Motorola
took third and fourth places, each with three circles and ratings of 789 and
phones, LG Electronics and Sanyo tied for top billing, with scores of 716,
followed by Sony Ericsson with a 712 out of 1,000. All three earned five
The firm found
battery performance to greatly affect customer satisfaction. It also found the
latter to be a "least satisfying" aspect of the smartphone experience
for consumers. Between the firm's 2011
and 2012 studies, overall
customer satisfaction was found to have fallen to 6.7 out of 10 from 6.9a
difference J.D. Powers calls significant.
carriers and manufacturers recognize the fact that battery life needs to be
improved," Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D.
Power wrote in a March 15 statement. "However, the study uncovers the need
for a greater sense of urgencyshort battery life can result in perceived phone
problems, higher rates of merchandise returns and customer
additionally found customer satisfaction levels with battery performance
to differ between owners of
3G- and 4G-enabled devices. Partly, this was explained by the "substantial
battery life" the latter use up in searching for harder-to-find 3G
signals. Another cited reason was that owners of 4G devices use them morefor
Web surfing, talking, emailing and textingthan their 3G-owning counterparts.
percent of 4G smartphone owners said they were "highly satisfied"
with the device's battery life and would "definitely" purchase
another device from the same manufacturer.
Two out of 10
smartphone owners also reported experiencing software or device malfunctions,
which likewise significantly affected their satisfaction ratings. The gap
between users who have experienced malfunctions, and those who haven't, was 77
Motorola in the smartphone rankings were LG Electronics
and BlackBerry maker Research In
Motion, each with two circles and a rating of 733. Nokia followed with a 702
and two circles, and the now-defunct Palm brought up the rear, with a 697 and
rating made for an industry average, of 774, that only Apple and HTC came out
ahead of. Among feature phones, the top four manufacturers exceeded the
industry average rating of 700, with only Motorola, at 687, Nokia, with a 684,
and Kyocera, with 656, coming in below it.
studies, a number of factors were used to determine customer satisfaction.
Smartphone owners determined these to be: performance (35 percent), ease of
operation (24 percent), features (21 percent) and physical design (20 percent).
owners voted much the same, though gave slightly less importance to
performance31 percent, versus 35and put physical design ahead of features.