iPhone users have probably the most conflicted customer satisfaction
rates of all smartphone customers. When it comes to the device itself,
they are far and away the most satisfied, according to a new survey.
But when it comes to their service provider? Not so much.
The CFI Group Smartphone Satisfaction Survey
, in which more than 1,000 smartphone users were questioned, scored the iPhone
at 83 on a 100-point scale, eight full points above the Google Android
and Palm Pre
, which scored next best, at 77 out of 100. Research In Motion's BlackBerry
scored 73 and the Palm Treo
scored 66; "others," which include Symbian
and Windows Mobile
, only pulled in 66 points.
the original users of smartphones, more and more people are purchasing
the phones for personal use. Early adopters tended to use them for work
and business, the survey showed. Interestingly, the newer, personal
users, are placing far more demands on the cellular and data networks
than the original business users. "Personal users, in contrast, are
more likely to engage in data-intensive activities that strain the
performance of the provider network," the survey said.
smartphones scored so well on customer satisfaction in large part
because they provide a "better web browsing experience, easier
multi-media playback, and a wealth of applications." The more generic
"other" smartphones "aren't even a part of the conversation," the
survey showed because they're not as consumer-oriented and because the
customer got them as part of a discount or plan from their service
Peer pressure of a sort seems to figure into the
equation, as 43 percent of iPhone users and 22 percent of non iPhone
users got their phones because a friend or colleague recommended it. A
full 92 percent of iPhone owners reported they had their ideal
smartphone and were satisfied with available applications. Android
users came in second in app satisfaction, scoring at 83. Not
surprisingly, iPhone, Android and Pre owners download more applications
than other smartphone users.
But this is where the iPhone satisfaction comes to a screeching halt.
While the users seem to, overall, be quite pleased with their phones, they are far less satisfied with AT&T
, the sole provider of cellular and data service for the device.T-Mobile
scores the highest on provider satisfaction, with 79 percent giving them high marks. Verizon
came next, but its customers were the most loyal, with 86 percent of
them saying it was their ideal provider. The survey noted that Verizon
was the most attractive alternative provider for any smartphone
customer who doesn't already use the network - if they were to switch,
Verizon is where they'd jump ship to, because the coverage is perceived
to be the strongest. They aren't very satisfied with their phones,
however - only 38 percent said they were happy with them.
and AT&T? Scored 69 on customer satisfaction. Scores were higher
among AT&T customers who did not switch to the network because of
the iPhone. Those who'd made the switch from another carrier rated
AT&T a 64 while longer-term users gave the provider a 72. And 40
percent of iPhone users made the jump to AT&T for the phone alone.
did suggest that if Verizon's network were to be inundated with a flood
of new customers - as happened to AT&T with iPhone users - then
perhaps its coverage would suffer as well.
"The iPhone is the best thing to happen to the smartphone industry
because it captured the imagination of a whole new set of consumers that
might not have made the smartphone jump," said Doug Helmreich, program
director with CFI Group. "The iPhone raised the bar not only for other
smartphones, but for the networks as well. The new breed of smartphone
consumers expect more from their phones, and the iPhone may represent
only the tip of a data-intensive iceberg."