Apple Still Tops in Cellphone Customer Satisfaction, but Losing Ground to Samsung and Others

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) has today released its annual rankings of customer satisfaction for mobile phones in the United States. While Apple had the highest customer satisfaction index score for the second year in a row, its score has fallen slightly while competitors like Motorola Mobility, Nokia, and Samsung have all gained in score.

Apple is still at the top of the list when it comes to smartphone satisfaction, but this year's ranking of 81 (out of 100) is two percent below its 2012 ranking of 83. Motorola phones came in second after Apple, hitting a ranking of 77 after a 5% gain year over year.

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Nokia remained high on the list with a 1% gain giving it a score of 76, and Samsung experienced the most growth at 7%, bringing it to a score of 76. HTC and LG both saw drops in satisfaction while BlackBerry remained on the bottom of the list with a score of 69.

The improvement [of Samsung] is the largest yet for any cell phone manufacturer, and earns Samsung a position even with the industry average and Nokia (+1%) and just behind second place Motorola, up 5% to 77. Nevertheless, Samsung remains well behind industry leader Apple.

Since the May 2012 customer satisfaction survey which was the first that ranked smartphones, Apple has introduced its newest phone, the iPhone 5, while Samsung has debuted several devices including its most recent Galaxy S 4.

The ACSI also ranked wireless telephone service, with Verizon and AT&T experiencing small gains in satisfaction. Verizon ranked first with a score of 73 outranking Sprint's steady 71, which earned it the top spot last year. AT&T went from 69 to 70, and T-Mobile dropped to last place with a score of 68.

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The ASCI bases its customer satisfaction index on a survey of 70,000 people in the United States that asks customers about the products and services they use the most. It measures satisfaction with more than 230 companies that span 43 industries and 10 economic sectors.

Top Rated Comments

0815 Avatar
127 months ago
damn Samsung ... now they are even copying the customer satisfaction !
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oletros Avatar
127 months ago
I know from personal experience that most Android fans act like they love their phones but then have all kinds of problems with them. Meanwhile, most people love and continue to love their iPhones for the duration of ownership. So these statistics are pretty biased.
Ah, when Android owners lie about their experiences and Apple users only reflect reality.

Cool story, bro
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iSteve-O Avatar
127 months ago
Samsung's doing something right. Consumer Reports just named the Galaxy S4 the best flagship phone.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neuropsychguy Avatar
127 months ago
It's not accurate to state that Apple is losing ground to Samsung. Apple's cellphone customer satisfaction numbers might have declined slightly (we have to keep in mind that any rating like this will have margins of error) but that loss is not going to Samsung (it's conceivable it could be if people are rating their satisfaction as relative to other phone manufacturers but that's not a given). Customer satisfaction for a particular manufacturer is independent of other manufacturers (most of the time, again relativism can play a role but it's not being measured).
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lordofthereef Avatar
127 months ago
This isn't terribly surprising. Samsung, especially, has been bringing their A game, despite what the haters say.

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Motorola 77? Compare iPhone to any Motorola. Day and night. ******** score.
All this is is a consumer satisfaction score. The numbers would indicate that users of Motorola devices are pretty pleased with their purchase. It does not mean they would be more, or less, pleased with an iPhone. You just need to understand how to interpret the data.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shenan1982 Avatar
127 months ago
I agree with the findings. My satisfaction with Apple has dropped in the past couple of years. If not for the seeming stagnation of innovation, for sure the degradation of overall customer service both from AppleCare and in-store.

On the flip side, Samsung has been improving product quality, and improving customer support, so one can't just say Samsung can only go up. Samsung has always been a good product, they've just had Apple killing them in customer service, so a little rise in Samsung service, and a little drop in Apple service will kill the gap real quick.

Unfortunately I think Apple's best days are behind them. I have had 4 iDevices (iMac, iPhone, iPad, now a new iMac) which have failed within the first 90 days of owning them. Obviously this has an impact on my overall customer satisfaction, and while I understand things happen, it's how a company responds. It used to be that when things failed in a reasonable time, Apple really stepped up and tried to do right by the customer, yet in the last year with these failures, I've felt like I've had to push them to do the right thing in each instance.

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The trend is terrible.

Will Apple be able to hang on to its PR advantages over the years? What happened to "It Just Works"? What happened to "When it doesn't work, simply shlep to a suburban shopping mall and get helped by a friggin' Genius?"

The trends are disturbing.


You're precisely correct. Us apple fans have always given them a little leeway because things have "just worked" ... for years we tolerated having a generation or two old technology in exchange for the reliability, but as of late, Apple's reliability factor has been dropping, yet prices haven't fallen and the innovation hasn't increased.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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