iPhone SE Tops Customer Satisfaction Survey Despite Shift Towards Larger Screens

Despite a shift towards smartphones with larger screens, the iPhone SE has topped all other smartphones in the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

Apple's four-inch smartphone received a customer satisfaction score of 87 out of 100 to finish just ahead of Samsung's 5.7-inch Galaxy S6 edge+ and the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus.

20 other smartphones, mostly including other iPhone and Galaxy models, received customer satisfaction scores of between 70 and 85, according to the ACSI results published today.

“Over the past few years, the general trend for smartphones has been toward larger screens,” says ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg. “But apparently, consumers were craving a new iteration of a smaller, less expensive phone as the iPhone SE – Apple’s first update to a 4-inch phone since 2013 – comes in first in ACSI this year.”

ACSI said the results are based on interviews with 36,194 customers in the United States, chosen at random and contacted via email between May 2016 and April 2017. The survey data was inputted into ACSI's so-called "cause-and-effect econometric model," which in turn estimates customer satisfaction.


Apple introduced the iPhone SE in March 2016, acknowledging that some people simply love smaller phones, as evidenced by the 30 million 4-inch iPhones that it sold in 2015. The smartphone is essentially an iPhone 5s with newer tech specs, including a twice as fast A9 chip and a 12-megapixel rear camera.

Given its lower $399 starting price, the iPhone SE is also a popular smartphone in more price-sensitive markets such as India.

Apple has yet to release a second-generation iPhone SE, but it doubled the smartphone's previous 16GB and 64GB storage capacities to 32GB and 128GB a few months ago, without raising prices. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple is unlikely to refresh the iPhone SE in the first half of 2017.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2020
Tag: ACSI
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

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39 months ago
Headphone jack and reasonable screen size, what's not to love? It's the common sense phone, the last with Steve Jobs fingerprint on it. The 6/7 look like generic Samsung phones.

SE til I die, son.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
Yeah I'm a fan. I had a six but missed the one handed glory of my 4s. Got the SE as soon as it dropped and have not regretted going back to small. I have big screens when and where I need them, I don't need one on my person at all times.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
No surprise here to anyone except Apple, who seems to be intensely focused on creating products customers don't want.

I know Steve Jobs liked the quote about skating where the puck will be, but this can be taken too far.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
I hope the iPhone SE gets updated at least once every two years and Apple doesn't let it die as a one-off.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago

Well, it's technically an iPhone 6s with a couple older specs, like the fingerprint reader and the front-facing camera, in the body of a 5s (so its screen and battery, naturally).

That's a long name for a phone so I'll keep calling mine iPhone SE.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
Not surprising at all, it really is the most well designed iPhone out there. No nonsense like the 7.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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