Apple, HTC Smartphones Highest In Satisfaction: J.D. Power
By Joseph Palenchar On Mar 26 2012 - 4:01am
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIF. –
ranked highest once again among smartphone
manufacturers in customer satisfaction,
J.D. Power found in its latest biannual
“Smartphone Satisfaction” report.
The biannual survey also found that
consumers’ satisfaction with smartphone
battery life has fallen since the
last survey in large part because of the
proliferation of 4G smartphones.
In the latest survey, Apple ranked first
for the seventh consecutive time, achieving
a score of 839 on a 1,000-point scale.
HTC followed with 798 points. The biannual
survey was launched in 2009.
The Apple and HTC scores exceeded
the industry average of 774, while all
other brands fell below the industry average.
Samsung came in third with 769
points, followed in order by Motorola
with 758 points; LG and BlackBerry,
both with 733 points; Nokia with 702;
and Palm with 697.
The study, conducted from July
through December 2011, found that
only Apple, HTC and Nokia improved
on their customer-satisfaction levels
compared to the previous survey, which
was conducted from January through
June 2011. All other brands suffered reduced
Scores are based on satisfaction with
performance, ease of operation, physical
design, and features. For the study,
J.D. Powers surveyed 7,080 smartphone
owners and 8,335 traditional-cellphone
owners who have used their current mobile
device for less than one year.
The studies also found that battery
performance is the least satisfying aspect
of smartphones, with battery-life
satisfaction becoming one of only a
few attributes that declined significantly
compared to the previous year’s study.
Satisfaction with battery life fell to 6.7
out of 10 points in the latest survey,
compared to the previous study’s 6.9.
The battery life of 4G smartphones
dragged down the smartphone average,
the company explained. Among
owners of 4G-enabled smartphones,
battery performance ratings averaged
6.1 out of 10, compared to 6.7 for 3G
smartphones. Part of the disparity was
the result of 4G smartphones consuming
“substantial” battery life to search
for 4G signals, “which tend to be scarcer
than 3G signals,” the company said.
On top of that, owners of 4G-enabled
smartphones use their device more extensively,
the company said.
Verizon subscribers were able to circumvent
that problem by going into their
phones’ settings menu to turn off the
4G radio, but the carrier has disabled
that feature, a supplier told TWICE.
For suppliers, the shorter battery lives
of 4G phones will come back to haunt
them more than carriers, J.D. Powers
said. A short battery life “can result in
perceived phone problems, higher rates
of merchandise returns, and customer
defections,” said Kirk Parsons, wireless
services senior director.
Smartphone owners who are highly
satisfied with their device’s battery life,
Parsons explained, are more likely to
repurchase the same brand of smartphone.
Only about 25 percent of 4Genabled
smartphone owners are highly
satisfied with their battery, giving it a
rating of 10 out of 10. These consumers
say they “definitely will” repurchase
a device from the same manufacturer.
In contrast, only 13 percent of lesssatisfied
owners who rated their battery
life at 7 to 9 points would purchase the
same brand again.
Another problem: 21 percent of current
smartphone owners reported a software
or device malfunction. That contributed to
a 77-point satisfaction gap between customers
who experienced software malfunctions
and those who did not..