Apple Regains Lead in Latest J.D. Power Tablet Customer Satisfaction Survey

Apple reclaimed its spot as the highest ranked tablet manufacturer in J.D. Power's latest U.S. tablet customer satisfaction study. Apple earned a 5-star rating and scored 830 on a 1,000 point scale, edging out Samsung, which scored a second place 822.
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The survey of 2,513 tablet owners found that Apple led its competitors in four of the five measured categories, including performance, ease of operation, features and styling and design. Apple trailed only in cost, which isn't surprising given the starting $299 price tag of Apple's iPad lineup. Number two Samsung ranked above-average in features, styling and design, and cost.

All is not rosy in the tablet market, however, with overall satisfaction among tablet owners on the decline, dropping 18 points to 835 in 2014 from a high of 853 in 2012. Ease of operation was the feature that showed the largest drop in satisfaction, with tablets taking longer to setup and becoming more complicated to use.

“Since the inaugural U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study in 2012, a number of new tablet OEMs have entered the U.S. marketplace, differentiating themselves to satisfy a growing interest in owning a tablet,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at J.D. Power. “Price has significantly impacted the marketplace. The average purchase price continues to drop and consumer expectations of tablet performance and features are different than they were for past products. Subsequently, overall satisfaction has declined, especially with ease of operation, as navigation features and functions have changed.”

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Not surprisingly, the most important feature cited by consumers when buying a tablet was cost, followed by features and brand reputation. Brand recognition is becoming increasingly important to consumers, beating out both manufacturer websites and personal recommendations as the reasons why they select a particular brand.

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Top Rated Comments

dannyyankou Avatar
131 months ago
I knew Samsung's lead wouldn't last long. Apple especially has the advantage in design.

Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nunyabinez Avatar
131 months ago
My wife got some cheap tablet and has been very frustrated with it. I don't know how there can be much difference in your satisfaction with these tablets when they all run the same OS.

She has an iPhone and finds Android to be messy and unintuitive. I'll bet most non-iPad users have never touched an iPad or an iPhone and hence don't know how awful Android is.

I know some here will defend Android, but it seems really bad in comparison to iOS, at least to me.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joelvega125 Avatar
131 months ago
I don't know why Samsing is rated so high. They make garbage. I tried using their devices for a couple years and I came away from it never wanting to see a plastic piece of Samsung touch wiz trash again. Must be a hipster thing.

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My wife got some cheap tablet and has been very frustrated with it. I don't know how there can be much difference in your satisfaction with these tablets when they all run the same OS.

She has an iPhone and finds Android to be messy and unintuitive. I'll bet most non-iPad users have never touched an iPad or an iPhone and hence don't know how awful Android is.

I know some here will defend Android, but it seems really bad in comparison to iOS, at least to me.

EXACTLY! Well Put.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kariya Avatar
131 months ago
My gf got a BlackBerry Playbook. Used it all of one month before dumping it in her drawer. Now uses my iPad everyday to the point where i pretty much don't have an iPad anymore.

Planning to get another one when Touch ID and 2GB of RAM filters through the line and then just leave the current one to her.

The iPhone has serious competition, but the iPad simply doesn't. Nothing really comes close in terms of overall experience.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keterboy Avatar
131 months ago
I just dont understand how Samsung's tablet scored so high compared to Apple's iPad. Those numbers are literally impossible and far from reality.

Every person I know, even people who like the Samsung tablet, tell me that the iPad is "much" better than any Android tablet.

Ive used it myself, the touch sensitivity lag is so annoying, you can literally feel the finger input lag and after a few minutes it makes you tired because your brain works faster than your inputs.

Then the Android menu is such a "wanna be" iOS menu that tries to gimmick it and completely fails at it.

So, out of my personal experience, any of this above is just nonsense for me, to say the least.

:confused:
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pgiguere1 Avatar
131 months ago
The surprise is not that Apple regained the lead, but that it lost it in the first place.
Many still believe this was a mistake that JD Power didn't want to admit.

Let's look at last year's numbers:



As you can see, Apple won in everything but price, but still lost overall. What this means is that each category is not weighted the same.

JD Power gave the weigth of each category. Some The Verge commenter did the math considering the weights:



And guess what, it still doesn't add up.

Even when you consired that the total might have been calculated before the star ratings were rounded, it's mathematically impossible for Samsung to have a higher score with the category biases JD Power provided.

When questioned about the situation, JD Power's director Kirk Parsons answered:
The differential between the price category scores of the iPad and the score of the Samsung tablets that were included in the survey was large enough to “more than offset” the score in the other four categories.
Which is total bul***** considering the weights provided.

Either JD Power should have provided the actual category biases they used to calculate the total, either they should have corrected the total using the initially provided category biases. Now they just decided to contradict maths instead without further justification.

tl;dr: Apple might never have lost it in the first place if JD Power didn't mess up their maths
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)