Android devices are outselling Apple iPhones, and according to new data, consumers are more satisfied with their Google-powered devices.
A study of nearly 94,000 U.S. mobile users found that the iPhone 5 ranked fifth in device satisfaction—behind four Android-running devices, according to OnDevice Research.
Along with Android, the news is a win for Motorola. Its Atrix HD and Droid Razr M, respectively, received the top two highest satisfaction scores, followed by the HTC Rezound 4G, in third place, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
"Although Apple created one of the most revolutionary devices of the past decade, other manufacturers have caught up, with some Android-powered devices now commanding higher levels of user satisfaction," the research firm said in a Feb. 11 blog post.
The firm noted that 4G capabilities played a role in how satisfied users said they are.
"The top 5 devices for satisfaction in the U.S. are 4G-capable devices," wrote the firm, "and users with a 4G subscription reported a higher device satisfaction (7.76) than those with no 4G subscription (7.28)."
In the United Kingdom, only one operator, Everything Everywhere, offers 4G, putting the iPhone 5 "under less pressure from competitive devices," said the firm.
In a device satisfaction study of 52,140 U.K. mobile users, the iPhone 5 came in second place, behind the 4G-enabled HTC One X and ahead of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the Samsung Galaxy S 3 Mini and the Samsung Galaxy S 3.
The firm found 4G to also play a role in user satisfaction with their mobile carriers. Users without a 4G subscription, on average, gave operators a rating of 6.67, versus 7.15—a difference of 0.48—when they did have 4G.
"As 4G opens up to more U.K. cities in 2013, it will provide opportunities for both mobile network operators and handset manufacturers to increase satisfaction, device usage and loyalty," reported OnDevice Research.
While Samsung performed well in the U.K., and is a top-seller around the world, when mobile users were asked to rank manufacturers, instead of devices, Apple zoomed to the top of the list, while Samsung fell to the very bottom, into 13th place.
Behind Apple and ahead of Samsung were, respectively, Google, Motorola, HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, ZTE, LG, Kyocera, Alcatel, Huawei and Research In Motion (which announced Jan. 30 that it had changed its name to BlackBerry).
Samsung sold 63 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to Canalys, while Apple sold 48 million iPhones and Huawei, with strong sales in China, came in third with nearly 12 million units.
Android was on 150 million of the smartphones that shipped during the quarter—or 70 percent of devices—compared with the 48 million iPhones that shipped, representing 22 percent of the global smartphone market. The BlackBerry OS was on nearly 8 million devices that shipped, making up nearly 4 percent of the market.
Looking at the overall mobile phone market, Samsung again led, with shipments of 175 million devices, followed by Apple, with 101 million devices and Nokia, with shipments of 35 million phones.