For the ninth consecutive year, Apple takes the crown for highest customer satisfaction among smartphone manufacturers, as calculated by J.D. Power and Associates.
The iPhone manufacturer achieved a score of 855 out of 1,000, and boasts particularly high marks in physical design and ease of operation. Meanwhile, LG kept up its winning streak, topping the mobile phone satisfaction list for the third year in a row.
Overall satisfaction among traditional mobile phone customers has remained virtually unchanged over the past two years, according to J.D. Power. Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications, chalked it up to "heightened awareness of advanced services available on smartphones and the lack of new device offerings with upgraded feature sets."
Two J.D. Power and Associates reports released this week - the Wireless Smartphone Satisfaction Study and the Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction Study - measured customer satisfaction with traditional mobile phones and smartphones in terms of performance, ease of operation, physical design, and features.
"As the capabilities of wireless phones and their applications continue to expand, and as customers grow more reliant on their device, handset manufacturers have an opportunity to further shape the customer experience and impact satisfaction with better integration of services and more communication options," Parsons said in a statement.
Manufacturers seem to be doing something right; overall smartphone customer satisfaction reached 796, a 22-point increase over last year. Most notably, key performance attributes like OS reliability, processing speed, and video/camera picture quality have improved, as has customer satisfaction in that field.
"It is important, however, that manufacturers meet the expectations of those customers who take advantage of such offers by ensuring the features are intuitive and, ultimately, rewarding to them," Parsons said. "Providing an easy-to-use, yet powerful operating system with the ability to customize applications to suit individual needs is essential to providing a high-quality and rewarding wireless experience."
Those with smartphones spend about 115 minutes per week on social-networking apps. Those who spend more than 100 minutes per week on social apps are 14 per cent more likely to recommend their smartphone model than those that spend 100 minutes or less on social apps, J.D. Power found.
On the downside, about 17 per cent of smartphone users have experienced a software or device malfunction.
The studies are based on surveys of 9,767 smartphone customers and 6,759 traditional mobile phone customers conducted between July and December 2012.