For years now, the press and consumers alike have been on Samsung’s case about plastic parts on its flagship phones. While things are changing dramatically these days, it seems that when push-comes-to-shove, the presence of plastic has little effect on consumer satisfaction, at least according to a recent survey conducted by the University of Michigan.
The American Consumer Satisfaction Index looked at 230 different brands in the country, and interviewed approximately 70,000 individuals. With respect to smartphones, it concluded that Samsung has a “satisfaction score” of 81, a 6.6% increase from last year’s rating of 76. While one could argue about the relevance of these results and their ability to account for the population at large (something that could be said of any survey), the fact that Samsung not only has an above average score, but actually managed to increase its standing in the past year might offer a bit of pleasant news for a change these days. Likewise, the score would also serve to indicate that American consumers on the whole, are pleased with the service and products Samsung provides.
Perhaps the more interesting finding this study revealed, is that Samsung managed to overtake Apple, which actually dropped from 81 (in 2013) to 79 this year. Given that Apple faced “bendgate” shortly after the release of its Plus-sized hardware earlier this year, there is a chance that the decline was a result of a perception of diminished product quality. On the other hand, it is also likely that the consumers polled simply had different answers, experiences, or even allegiances this year.
While one might take any survey with a few sprinklings of salt, at the very least this one suggests that Samsung has had a favorable year among Americans buying its products, something that it needs for momentum as 2015 approaches and the market becomes even more competitive.