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

(View all)
Avatar
44 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
44 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
44 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
44 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
44 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
44 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)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 Will Be Released September 16

Tuesday September 15, 2020 11:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 will be officially released on Wednesday, September 16. Apple has seeded the final Golden Master beta versions of each update to developers in advance. ‌iOS 14‌ and iPadOS 14 introduce dozens of new features, including a redesigned Home Screen that supports widgets on the iPhone and iPad for the first time. For more...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Full Transcript of Apple's 'Time Flies' Event With Apple Watch and iPad Updates

Tuesday September 15, 2020 8:46 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Time Flies" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut new Apple Watch and iPad models, but it appears we may not see the iPhone 12 until next month. While we're not expecting to see new iPhones today, Apple's software updates for its various platforms are likely nearly ready for launch, so we may be hearing more about them today. Check...

Everything Apple Announced at Today's iPad and Apple Watch Event in Just Seven Minutes

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Apple today held its annual September event, but this year was a bit different because no new iPhones were announced. The "Time Flies" event focused on the Apple Watch Series 6 and the iPad Air, and saw the debut of a new Apple One services bundle. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce the new devices, but we've recapped the event in...