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Samsung Unseats Apple In J.D. Power Satisfaction Survey

Westlake Village, Calif. – Apple lost its No. 1 status in J.D. Power’s “Tablet Satisfaction Study” for the first time, and Samsung took Apple’s place.

Samsung was the only tablet manufacturer to improve its customer satisfaction scores in all five areas measured by the survey, boosting the company’s third-place rank in the previous survey. In that survey, Samsung fell below the industry average in customer satisfaction.

The factors measured in the survey were weighted in the following order of importance to create a 1,000-point satisfaction index: performance (26 percent), ease of operation (22 percent), styling and design (19 percent), features (17 percent) and price (16 percent).

 Samsung scored 835 out of a possible 1,000 points, followed closely by Apple with 833, Amazon with 826, Asus with 821, and Acer with 781. The industry average was 821.

 The survey is the third semiannual tablet survey released by J.D. Power. The previous two surveys ranked Apple first, followed by Amazon, Samsung, Asus and Acer in that order.

In the previous survey released early this year, Apple scored 836, followed by Amazon at 829 points, Samsung with 822 points, Asus with 818 points, and Acer with 874 points. The industry average was 828 points.

In the latest survey, Samsung “showed particularly strong improvement in the cost factor” with a 25-point increase, and Apple performed “particularly well in performance and ease of operation,” the company said.

  In translating the index scores into Power Circle scores, the company has Samsung and Apple with five Power Circles out of five, with Amazon and Asus getting three and Acer two.

The latest survey, fielded between March and August, is based on information from 3,375 tablet owners who owned their current tablet for less than one year.

In other findings, the survey determined that 59 percent of tablet owners purchased their device in a store, with the other 41 percent purchasing online. Tablet owners who buy online rated their purchase experience higher than the in-store purchasers. Online buyers rated their purchase experience 8.5 on a 10-point scale compared with in-store purchasers’ 8.3. Online purchasers also reported slightly higher satisfaction with the price of their tablet (7.8 compared with 7.5).

People who rated their purchase experience high also expressed greater satisfaction with the product purchased, the survey also found. Customer satisfaction among tablet owners who rated their purchase experience high (9 or 10) was 114 points higher at 879 than for those who rated their purchase experience 8 or less.

Before purchasing a tablet, 50 percent of consumers relied on recommendations from friends, family members or colleagues, the survey found. A total of 49 percent gathered information from the manufacturer’s website. These sources are followed by brand reputation (42 percent) and past experience with the brand (32 percent).

“Whether consumers prefer the online channel for competitive pricing compared with the tactile retail store experience, effectively matching owner needs with the appropriate tablet model during the purchase process goes a long way in positively influencing overall satisfaction,” said Kirk Parsons, telecommunications services senior director at J.D. Power.