Apple's iPhone 4S is apparently drawing high customer satisfaction ratings, according to a new survey from ChangeWave Research, a division of analyst firm The 451 Group.
The November survey included a relatively small sample size-some 215 iPhone 4S owners-but nonetheless offers some decisive numbers: about 77 percent of respondents were "very satisfied" with their device, followed by 19 percent "somewhat satisfied" and 1 percent, each, for "somewhat unsatisfied" and "very unsatisfied."
As pointed out by ChangeWave's Dec. 1 note accompanying those results, "these iPhone 4S satisfaction ratings are higher than those found in a July 2010 survey of iPhone 4 new owners." In particular, respondents gravitated toward Siri, the iPhone 4S' voice-activated digital assistant. However, they also complained of "short" battery life and lack of 4G compatibility.
"To gauge the actual impact of the battery life issue on new iPhone 4S owners, we asked them to tell us if they had experienced reduced battery life with their device," the note added. "Two-in-five owners said they had experienced reduced battery life with their iPhone 4S (40 percent)." However, only 8 percent apparently termed that battery life a "very big problem," with another 20 percent reporting it was "somewhat of a problem."
After reports first emerged of battery-life issues with the iPhone 4S, Apple pushed through an iOS 5.0.1 update designed to rectify what the company termed a "bug" affecting the smartphone's power usage. In broad strokes, the situation with the iPhone 4S recalled that of the iPhone 4, whose own blockbuster release in 2010 was somewhat marred by reports of dropped calls whenever users gripped the device in a certain way with bare hands.
In the case of the iPhone 4, Apple's solution involved issuing free rubber bumpers to device owners, which blocked the exterior antenna rim from skin contact.
Despite the reports of battery issues with the iPhone 4S, however, the device managed to sell some 4 million units by the end of its first weekend of release in October. According to recent data from Nielsen, iOS accounts for some 28 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, behind Android at 43 percent but ahead of Research In Motion's BlackBerry franchise at 17.8 percent and Microsoft's smartphone franchises at just over 7 percent.