Smartphone users snub ‘home’ brands, say data
MANILA, Philippines – It could be a case of cross-culture adoration as a new survey on Thursday showed that smartphone users in the US and South Korea are becoming less satisfied with their “home” brands.
According to a study released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), South Korea-based Samsung’s Galaxy SIII and Note II topped a list that measured “smartphone customer satisfaction” this year.
Based on the data, Samsung’s SIII, its flagship model for 2012, edged out US-based Apple Inc.’s current flagship iPhone 5 to top the ACSI benchmark with a score of 84 against iPhone’s 82.
The Samsung Note II also obtained a score of 84. Galaxy S4 is not included because the ACSI study was fielded just prior to its launch, the report noted.
However, while US customers give Samsung’s smartphones the top scores, Korean consumers prefer Apple.
According to the National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI) in South Korea, which uses the same technology as the ACSI, the iPhone 5 has higher customer satisfaction than Galaxy SIII, ACSI said in its report.
At the bottom of the list were the Blackberry Curve and Bold smartphones, which scored 67 and 64, respectively.
10 smartphone models were included in ACSI’s smartphone customer satisfaction 2013.
ACSI noted smartphones generally received “strong marks” in terms of customer satisfaction although battery life remains a shortcoming.
“While feature phones are cheaper, and therefore viewed by many customers as better value, smartphones excel in quality,” said Claes Fornell, ACSI founder and chair.
“The smartphone segment of the cell phone market is growing at a rapid clip, and ACSI data suggest that smartphone users are much more satisfied than are feature phone users,” it said.
Overall, smartphones earn a customer satisfaction score of 76 compared to 69 for feature phones, ACSI said.
Meanwhile, ACSI data showed that the iPhone 4S matched its successor—iPhone 5—with an ACSI score of 82 while the iPhone 4 scored an 81.
The Galaxy SII, precursor to the SIII, obtained a score of 78 in the most recent ASCI survey.
Motorola Mobility’s Droid Razr Maxx HD comes in at 80, while the Droid Razr scores 77.
“Not only does Samsung edge ahead of all iPhones, Apple customers themselves don’t see much difference between the iPhone 4, 4S or 5,” said ACSI Director David VanAmburg.
“The latest earnings report from Apple was better than expected, but the name of the game for Apple has always been innovation. Samsung, on the other hand, shows a strong upward ACSI trend from the Galaxy SII to the Galaxy SIII. If the S4 performs as well—or even better—in the eyes of customers, Samsung could threaten Apple’s dominance in overall customer satisfaction.”
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