JD Power Rankings Shows Android Manufacturers Trailing Apple’s Number One Spot


In a report that is sure to incite some  a bit of fanboyism on all ends, JD Power & Associates have unveiled their yearly smartphone rankings, and news could be better for Android. Apple and their iPhone hold the number one spot for the fifth consecutive year, though Motorola and HTC trail  by only a small margin. Those two manufacturers were rated above the industry average, while Samsung fell to the bottom of the list. The Galaxy S manufacturer was only able to best RIM, which lands in last place. This may have something to do with customer dissatisfaction over promised updates for their devices and poor device support. Read the full press release below for all the details.

J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Social Media Use Drives Higher Satisfaction among Owners of
Smartphones and Traditional Mobile Phones

Apple Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Smartphone Manufacturers,
While Sanyo Ranks Highest among Traditional Mobile Phone Manufacturers

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 17 March 2011 — Overall satisfaction with smartphones and traditional mobile phones is considerably higher among owners who use their devices for social media activity, compared with satisfaction among owners who do not access social media platforms on their phones, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction StudySM—Volume 1 and the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction StudySM—Volume 1, both released today.

Among smartphone owners who use their device to access social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, satisfaction averages 783 on a 1,000-point scale—nearly 22 points higher than among those smartphone owners who do not often use social media sites on their device. Currently, more than one-half of smartphone owners report having used their device to access social media sites via the mobile Web or mobile applications. While rates of mobile social media site usage are not nearly as high among owners of traditional mobile phones (9%, on average), satisfaction among traditional handset owners who use their device for social media is notably higher than that of traditional handset owners who don’t access social media (754 vs. 696).

“It’s not unexpected that smartphone owners access social media sites from their device more frequently than traditional mobile phone owners due to features such as larger screens and QWERTY keyboards,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, these findings demonstrate that equipping devices with powerful features and service is key to creating positive customer experiences with wireless devices.”

The study finds that wireless users who engage in mobile social media activity on their mobile device also tend to use it more often for calls, texts and data; are more likely to purchase additional wireless services in the future; and are also more likely to provide positive recommendations for their handset brand and service provider, compared with users who don’t use social media on their device.

“It’s clear that the gap in satisfaction between customers who use social media applications on their device and those who don’t is driven by several factors, but the critical ingredient is whether the user has a positive experience with the wireless device itself,” said Parsons. “Providing features that facilitate social networking activity and make it easy for users to communicate and share information between various social media sites may be an effective way for service providers to further engage customers and increase loyalty.”

These two studies measure customer satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets and smartphones among owners who have used their current mobile phone for less than two years, by examining several key factors. In order of importance, the key factors of overall satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets are: operation (30%); physical design (30%); features (20%); and battery function (20%). For smartphones, the key factors are: ease of operation (26%); operating system (24%); physical design (23%); features (19%); and battery function (8%).

For a fifth consecutive time, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones in customer satisfaction with a score of 795 and performs particularly well in ease of operation, operating system, features and physical design. Motorola (763) and HTC (762) follow Apple in the smartphone rankings.

Sanyo ranks highest in overall wireless customer satisfaction with traditional handsets with a score of 715. Sanyo performs well in three factors: physical design, battery functionality and operation. LG (711) and Samsung (703) follow Sanyo in the traditional handset rankings.

The studies also find the following key wireless handset usage patterns:

The average price of a traditional wireless mobile phone continues to decline and averages $73 in 2011, compared with an average of $81 at the beginning of 2009. The decline is primarily due to discounts provided by handset providers and wireless service carriers to incentivize sales. Currently, 46 percent of owners report having received a free mobile phone when subscribing to a wireless service, which is a historical high.
Mobile applications continue to enhance the smartphone user experience. Two-thirds of owners say they have downloaded games and social networking applications to their device. More than one-half (54%) say they have downloaded travel software, such as maps and weather applications, while 53 percent indicate having downloaded entertainment-oriented applications. This indicates that smartphone owners are continuing to integrate their device usage into both their business and personal lives.
Ownership tenure impacts overall satisfaction with the device experience. Those who report owning their device less than one year are significantly more likely to be more satisfied than those who have owned their wireless phone for a longer period of time (773 vs. 728). Newer devices tend to offer more features, services and better quality than older phones.
The 2011 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study—Volume 1 and the 2011 U.S. Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction Study—Volume 1 are based on experiences reported by 7,275 smartphone owners and 11,347 traditional mobile phone owners. The studies were fielded between July and December 2010.

For more information on customer satisfaction with wireless service, wireless retail sales, cell phone handsets, customer care, prepaid wireless service and business wireless service, please visit JDPower.com.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy. Leading brands include Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees with more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2010 were $6.2 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

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  1. coming to getcha!!!

  2. Yeah….. but combine HTC and Motorola, and android numbers SURPASS the iPhone. Seems to me Android is on top now, but I could be mistaken.

  3. @tattooman

    But thats 2 companies against 1 lol I would hope they would surpass apple’s numbers.

  4. You can’t combine numbers like that :)
    Apple will always have an advantage because there are iCultists who will give them high marks no matter what they do.

  5. There are android phanboys, of course, but they are not beholden to any OEM. I don’t think there is anyone who drools at the sight of Sanjay Jha at a Motorola press conference.

  6. They should remove the word Android from the title of this article and just leave it between the manufactures.

  7. Quick glance through and I didn’t see them mention the margin for error. Usually + or – 5% in a good study. That means everyone is basically the same at the top.

  8. Not really a fair ranking considering that apple provides the operating system and the hardware. The same was said for Apple’s computer systems but for some reason Apple’s computers only made up a very small portion of the computer population. If Apple is so popular, why are the majority of smart phones in the world running Android?

  9. It’s a fair assessment. Iphone users really love their phone and apple pumps out updates at regular intervals. If carriers and manufacturers didn’t load their garbage software on Android devices so everyone could get regular updates, I doubt Apple would be on top.

  10. OK so why is RIM so low?

  11. @ari-free
    RIM is so low because the devices are not very well built? I have been a BB user and I’m still using one, so I know how flimsy these things are. For business purpose, it’s still the easiest to use and fastest device for me. It sucks for everything else.
    It won’t be easy to catch apple with the production quality, but it’s good to see motorola and htc come that close. Their devices feel solid enough to me.

  12. Wow, talk about a misleading survey.

    These people are talking about Manufacturers, people, not Operating Systems. Android, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone 7 are spread across several of these manufacturers. Results are definitely going to be diluted.

    Now, I’ll agree that Samsung has seen an incredible amount of ire from US folks over their Galaxy S upgrades, so that definitely has something to do with this. However, the Samsung Windows Phone 7 also saw a nightmare of an upgrade, so that can’t be counted out of the above equation.

    Show me a straight-up survey of iOS and Android, and then we’ll talk. Of course, iOS will win, but Android will be very, very close. As the Market continues to expand, Honeycomb catches on, and Gingerbread gets pushed to more phones, this playing field will continue to level out.

  13. Read the article. It has nothing to do with numbers, it’s about satisfaction.

  14. nokia is dead

  15. It is about satisfaction but not the OS customer satisfaction but the manufacture’s customer satisfaction…. so trying to translate that into an iOS / Android battle is not fair as Android or Google don’t produce any hardware product….. the comparison suggested in the title would only be fair if OS satisfaction is compared.

  16. @ari-free

    You hit the nail on the head. I know lots of iphone users who readily admit to getting dropped calls and having other issues yet they still kiss up to Apple. So these numbers only reflect the Apple ‘country club’ mentality and certainly not true product quality. As a phone the iPhone is horrible and should be dead last. Even the extremely biased Consumer Reports refused to recommend it.

  17. Let the icultist be happy with their low expectations and blind fanboyism. We phandroids aim for improvements and are not afraid to admit it

  18. As mentioned by a couple of others, this survey is always going to have Apple at the top because the cult always rates their products as 5*. Every iPhone owner I speak to has issues with their device from random reboots to dropped calls but its hard enough getting them to admit to me let alone a survey. Like an audiophile justifies spending a grand on speaker cable they have to justify their overpriced iProduct purchase.

  19. @Dave
    Well said, there are so many problems with iPhones, from death grips to dropped calls, and poor quality build. But the people who mostly buy iPhones and Macs for that matter are very dedicated to the brand.

    If Apple made an Android phone or WP7 phone and put their symbol on it, it would get 5 star ratings too, I have NO doubt of that.

  20. You android fans are sad, I had iPhone 4 and now I have atrix. I will for sure go back to iPhone 5. Never had random reboots or droped calls (that’s ATT issue). Poor quality build? Atrix is a piece of plastic compare to iP4. iOS is still much better then android, apps too. Copy/paste much better, zoom in on pics on android is choppy. (few examples)

  21. Apple users will bitch about their products online, but when it comes to surveys or defending Apple’s practices, they all of a sudden lose any distaste they have for their iCrap. That’s why they always get high marks. Apple does a good job of keeping their iSHeep in line.

  22. Don’t need jd power to tell me if I should be happy with my phone.

  23. Does anyone else remember when Apple Computers were less than 7% of the PC industry, but had the highest customer satisfaction rating?

    I guess there’s something to e said about making a smaller base of customers extremely happy vs. Having market dominance. Bravo, Apple.

  24. Android fanboys suck balls. In many country satisfaction for Android much higher because it offer the freedom that crApple BB and MS cant. Go Android.

  25. “It just *has* to be good. It must be good. It IS good. Otherwise…otherwise…everything I wanted to believe about Apple…was a lie.”

  26. It IS a fair assessment to combine companies, they are the MANUFACTURERS of the Android platform. Apple DOES NOT make their own phones, FoxConn does. You might as well just put FoxConn up there, so no one can cry about apple being bad and getting outsold. FoxConn makes almost every electronic now days.

  27. gotta love those trusty ole iDrones… quick look over there it’s the “iPhone XTX with instantG (zero wait downloads) and it metamorphs into a floatation device!!!” ::sneaks past the pre-ocupied Drones and makes off with the loot::

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