Apple's iPhone satisfaction slips; Samsung, Nokia gain

Apple's iPhone satisfaction slips; Samsung, Nokia gain

Summary: Samsung makes a big leap in customer satisfaction, but it's unclear whether the company can keep it going. Apple still leads the smartphone pack by a wide margin.


Apple's customer satisfaction scores for its iPhone in the U.S. slipped a bit from a year ago as Samsung surged. The big questions revolve around whether Samsung can maintain its momentum in 2013 at Apple's expense.

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Apple still dominates the smartphone category with a score of 81, down 2 percent from a year ago. Samsung had a score of 76, up 5 points from 2012. Nokia also had a score of 76.

It's likely that much will be made of Apple's slippage, but it may be worth pondering whether Samsung's score has peaked. The Galaxy S3 was well received and the S4 is more evolutionary. In addition, Samsung's score of 76 merely matches a 2010 peak.



Among other players in the smartphone market, HTC's score of 72 is down from 75 a year earlier. BlackBerry also held with a score of 69.

Other odds and ends from the ACSI report:

  • Wireless carrier satisfaction ticked up to an overall score of 72. Verizon Wireless led the pack with a score of 73, followed by Sprint at 71 and AT&T at 70.
  • Microsoft's customer satisfaction score was 74, down from 75 a year earlier. Windows 8 hasn't helped or hurt the company. ACSI said:

With global PC shipments having their largest quarterly drop in 20 years, the market remains thorny. Windows 8, criticized by users for its interface, has not derailed customer satisfaction for Microsoft, but it has not helped either.

  • Verizon FiOS led the Internet service provider pack with a score of 71. Comcast had a score of 62.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Samsung, Smartphones, Bring Your Own Device

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  • No innovation from Apple since 2007

    Nokia will regain a lot of its lost ground in smartphone space in coming years. Apple is on decline and Samsung has peaked...
    • The fact that that has (at time of writing) 5 votes

      Says it all about zdnet comment sections. No, I don't use iPhone anymore - just picked myself up a Nokia 620 - but no innovation in 6 years? Laughable. I've had my nokia 5 days and I miss iCloud, but love the camera lenses. Loving that I have a nokia woth basically x-press on covers again though - really bored of every phone looking the same of late.
      • Missing iCloud?

        Check out skydrive. Also bing or google searches will find ways to make most iCloud features work on win phone.
        • That's just an online file locker

          Like Dropbox, ubuntu one, adrive, etc. I used it already on iPhone - no office for iOS.

          It is very useful for office docs, and size of storage so for those I rate it above Dropbox.

          It's the syncing and backup I miss. Syncing is fine with windows 8 and the phone - works just like iCloud did.. Just miss the security of the automated online backup - a key reason for leaving android; the back up hassle - that it is basically left to OEM's and third parties. Apparently google like taking your data, but not helping you look after it? Have to say coming to windows phone from android has been one of the better decisions. The app selection is average at best -free app availability is pretty poor, but this will get better with time.

          My early experiences put win phone in second place for the user behind iOS - android's only saving grace is customisability, but it deserves third place - and that can easily move into as the fledgling OS matures; after all iOS development seems to have stagnated.

          However yes, for now miss iCloud is a completely fair assessment.
          • Google has had cloud backup for Android for a while now

            Here is one link:


            Android can backup your settings and data to Google without a 3rd party app. Like many features, Google just doesn't advertise it as much as the Apple equivalents. Well, to be more correct, Google doesn't really advertise Android - phone manufacturers do.
    • Of course

      From 3% market share surely the only way is up.
  • Big kudos to Samsung and Nokia

    Fantastic innovative work from these 2 companies while certain others begin their long decline into irrelevance.
    • You know Apple

      is way unlikelier to become irrelevant compared to Nokia, right? Is that what really is going to happen, or what you hope would happen?

      One knows illogical fans of brands (haters of other brands, rather) from such encounters. The company has the rest beat by a large margin, and you make a statement like this? And, of course. Your avatar is Steve Jobs with horns.
      Ehsan Irani
  • Apple's iPhone satisfaction slips; Samsung, Nokia gain

    Nokia keeps coming out with innovative and sleek hardware. My Nokia is the best phone I've ever owned. I would rate it as being extremely satisfied.
    • Mr. Davidson: "My Nokia is the best phone I've ever owned"

      Just curious. Have you ever owned an iPhone and/or Android-based smartphone?

      P.S. Am not dissing Nokia or Windows Phone 8.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Used both...

        The first Android I used was very laggy and not responsive. Held the GS4 and must admit it worked fine :-) I phone feels premium. But I am an Windows Phone developer and the Development Platform feels great. I think the best Windows Phone Apps are yet to come. Now I have a cheap Lumia 620. I put my developed App on it. Works like a charm without the cost of an expensive GS4 or IP5. The Lumia 520 will Proof that a Good SmartPhone can be cheap.
        Herman Van Der Blom
        • Lumia 520.

          Lumia 520 deserves a lot of praise. All the software and apps run as smooth as the ones in the premium model. The screen and camera may not be as good as the premium model, but forgiving that, this is the REAL Smartphone for the masses. Cheap and functional, Kudos to Nokia
          • This does not speak well

            .. about the flagship WP phones, if they are just as good as the cheap models.
          • We forgive non English speakers

            The poster CLEARLY wrote that less expensive Windows phones have lower level screens and cameras but that the applications run very well on all models. But you do have a point : if you don't need the best camera or screen, don't pay for them. Thanks Nokia and Microsoft for giving people REAL choice, unlike a certain other fruity company that gives you no choice.
          • And doesn't...

            ...force you to buy their phone either. It's like saying "Ferrari has no cheap models" well yeah. You might even argue Ferrari doesn't give you the best bang for your buck, but you can't object to them for not making a cheap model for everyone.
            Ehsan Irani
          • Some people will never get it

            Just give up. Some people are too ignorant that companies have particular business strategies. Companies like Samsung, google, MA, Toyota play the high volume low price game whereas companies like Apple, BMW, Ferrari play the low volume high premium game. EVERY industry has this mix if companies whether they be phones, computers, cars, stereos and so on. Some companies stay focused and spend more time solving engineering problems, others are more focused on getting beta products out the door with plastic builds, buggy software and exploding gas tanks.
          • Apple likes you!

            Come in spinner! "low volume high premium" up until last year they sold more mobile phones than anyone else and tablet for that matter! Doesn't seem to fit into your magical "low volume high premium" argument! Not to mention price breakdown shows there tablet parts cost is about the same as others but they are selling them at a higher price.

            Before you comment, I don't own a smart phone and don't really have a favourite! Don't get sucked into marketing hype by any company, they want your MONEY first and foremost!
          • Almost everyone in the West...

            ...can afford to buy an iPhone. But the iPhone is among the higher-end smartphones, and therefore costs way more than the low-end ones. Imagine Ferrari being among the most expensive cars, but people have enough money to buy it. That explains the high volume issue.

            About the higher price: I am betting a high-end BMW doesn't cost a lot more than a high-end Toyota. It's the "brand" that has earned reputations and is therefore more expensive.
            Ehsan Irani
          • Lost your bet: BMW and Toyota cost

            Most expensive found on website today:
            BMW 760Li Sedan = $140,700 MSRP, Toyota Land Cruiser = $78,555
            Edmonds 5 year cost to own:
            BMW 7 Series = $128,250, Toyota Land Cruiser = $80,869
          • I love how...

            Apple zealots try to tie iProducts to high-end performance cars like Ferrari and BMW. The fact that Apple is locked down with almost zero customization lower performance and more basic functionality; a better comparison is a city bus. A transit bus is expensive, not user customizable, just designed to work with no frills.