Samsung beats Apple in consumer satisfaction smartphone study

by: Matthew BensonDecember 31, 2014
3.4K

Samsung Vs Apple Planets collide patent lawsuit

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.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

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.

  • MasterMuffin

    Of course plastic doesn’t take the number down, people who don’t like plastic don’t buy plastic :)

    • pytajnik

      is note 4 also plastic? because I could’ve sworn that bezels are aluminium, at least it feels like it.

      • MasterMuffin

        I take that as sarcasm and say yes, they probably had 2 phones with aluminium when this survey was taken. Doesn’t change what I said

      • High Heels

        Yes, it is plastic.

    • MunibSultan

      They don’t like plastics cause their parents didn’t use them and he was a mistake.

    • Jerry Rich

      Yeah, I hate plastic and want a solid metal phone. A SOLID metal phone with no plastic in it at all. I would prefer a solid gold or platinum phone. So far I haven’t been able to find one. Can you help me?

      • MasterMuffin

        I think people don’t understand what I meant with my comment, based on these sarcastic responses. My comment was in no way complaining about plastic, my phone is plastic too. It’s just that why would Samsung’s use of plastic worsen their customer satisfaction score, when the buyers knew they were buying phones made of plastic? Nobody who hates plastic would buy Samsung, so there aren’t any people that could take the score down because of that.

        • Jerry Rich

          Yes, I understood what you were saying. My point was that ALL devices are manufactured with varying amounts of plastic in them so it would be impossible to buy a device without plastic in it.

      • LMS

        Try Vertu?

    • eskulit

      My xperia is glass lol

  • Aditya Yellamilli

    In Your Face Apple Fanboys

  • TheNewGuy

    Guess the consumers not satisfied by Samsung moved on to other brands finally (the sales drop).. Hence the improvement in consumer satisfaction..

    Good for them..

    • MasterMuffin

      Actually makes sense!

  • GalaxyUser15

    NO WAY! that’s impossible. Samsung and Consumer Satisfaction don’t match at all. After having called their customer support for my Galaxy S5 numerous times, All I know is that they don’t give a damn s#!* and they are mostly unable to provide any info. The info they can provide is already available online, everywhere and even 5th grader knows about such info these days. –
    Recent – Galaxy S5 user
    Formerly – 8 Years iPhone User

  • Anonymousfella

    The fallout from Bendgate? Likely

  • dandroid13

    In your face HTC fanboys.

    • rals

      HTC Fanboys? what are they 12 of them out there?

  • 16 Important Things Every iPhone 6 Owner Should Know ..http://goo.gl/N4pbIx

  • thereasoner

    The iOS 8 disaster, iOS 7 making older iPhones almost useless, bend gate and other hardware problems, iCloud breach and other security issues, lovers of small phones abandoned. Enough said about Apple.

    The seemingly bizarre correlation to decreased sales/profits while satisfaction increases for Samsung can be attributed to the fact that midrange and less profitable devices run just as well as their top end models. Same for all Android manufacturers these days, the tech is so good now that a great user experience can be had at a bargain and profits are decreasing as a result.

    This same argument applies to older devices, just like their midrange brethren, these phones are more than adequate and people keeping them longer add to the decrease in sales activity. My wife still has her GS3 with no interest in a new phone because it runs/looks great. Instead of getting a new phone at a premium monthly cost she moved her current phone to a carrier that offered a much better deal when you “bring your own phone” and she’s quite happy. I’m doing the same thing with my HTC ONE M7 because cell phone rates are a complete ripoff here!

  • Jerry Rich

    Apple has no place to go but down. Consumers are finally seeing through the smoke and mirrors that apple projects.

    • TheNewGuy

      Yes and also through the smoke and mirrors that samsung projects.. Atleast that’s what their sales report for q3 said..

      • Jerry Rich

        Samsung numbers are dropping and that will continue but for different reasons. For example, one reason for the dropping numbers is Samsung can no longer compete with companies like Xiaomi for market share in countries they once dominated.

        The “smoke and mirrors” that apple tries to project is the phony perception that their product is a more premium product, or has a better feature set or has better support than any other device. People are finally realizing that this is not true. An example is the Note 4 vs. the 6+.

        • TheNewGuy

          Nope Samsung sales fell in U. S. too.. No companies like Xiaomi there..
          And “smoke and mirrors” of samsung for the midrange which it is loosing to companies like xiaomi elsewhere..

          • Jerry Rich

            You don’t get it do you? “smoke and mirrors” means illusion. I’ll try to make it easier for you to understand. In apples case, potential buyers are seeing through the “illusion” that applecrap is somehow magically better than any other device and buying other devices. In Samsung’s case ONE of the reasons their sales numbers are dropping is other companies are grabbing a larger market share.

          • TheNewGuy

            I don’t understand.

          • Gary W

            And you shouldn’t. How can you understand gibberish?

          • TheOldNewGuy

            I get it perfectly well (and don’t agree with the Apple crap theory).. So I’m saying that Samsung does the same for mid range market too..

            P. S. Someone decided to borrow my name (the other comment) .. Anyway it was time to level up :P

    • In tech journalism, some facts are too good to check (would have been nice if the author of this article checked his facts!)

      http://fortune.com/2015/01/01/did-samsung-really-overtake-apple-in-consumer-satisfaction/?xid=yahoo_fortune

  • The-Sailor-Man

    “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”
    Do you really think , that this is the reason iboys??(no matter how you name your site)
    What “consumers” you refer to??? About the iPress we already know, though.

  • Harry

    They beat 81 – 79 and almost ALL the results of the survey fall between 71 – 81. This survey is absolute bullshit. Not cheering for any one company, just saying the survey itself is stupid. Not to mention that this survey is on mostly on people who don’t frequent tech sites and when asked if they’re happy with their phones I would bet they answer based on the experience and not the materials used in its construction. Its the average person who likes their tech simple. iOS has fared very well in these surveys in previous years because iOS was always so basic and easy – read as simple and stupid. iOS 8 is very complex compared to iOS 7, which I would bet is the reason Apple’s score went down a couple points. Its because most people don’t like change and take forever to adapt to new tech and features.

    And honestly, there is seriously almost zero difference between iOS 8 and Android K or L if you’re a regular person who doesn’t root their handset or run custom launchers and roms. iOS and Android have pretty much hit parity this year. Both platforms are now robust, secure and feature rich. I hadn’t used an iPhone for about 4 years and played with my sister’s (average non-techy consumer) iPhone 6 the other day, night and day from what I remember iOS being like on my iPhone 4.

  • Ismailoviç Le Roi

    but they can’not beat the ipad

  • MarlonVella

    Note 4 is the best phone yet best cam 16
    mp with ois 2k screen speed of quod core
    or ecta core just impressive

  • Justin

    Link to the original ACSI press releaase: http://www.theacsi.org/news-and-resources/press-releases/press-2014/press-release-telecommunications-and-information-2014
    Note the date of the survey’s release: May 2014. I somehow doubt that “bendgate” or the quality iOS 8 had anything to do with the results.
    I’m a big Android fan, but just sayin’…

  • Majipoor

    “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. ”

    Problem is that the survey data are from may 2014: poor reporting.

    http://www.engadget.com/2014/12/30/samsung-apple-satisfaction/

  • Staci.K

    Perhaps, by Samsung having not as profitable year might be good for the consumers. It seems they are trying to revamp about their ways. What I don’t get people here & online.. if you don’t like Samsung’s designs or hate TW then DON’T BUY IT!! Nobody put a gun to your head..making you buy any Samsung’s products. I like Android having many options to choose from. I rather I have options than no option such as with IOS users. I hate Apple for that reason. I’m glad Android has Sammy, HTC, Motorola, Sony, LG and ect. Why do the snake eating its tail? We’re all android brothers and sisters here. But seriously, quit with all the hating.. it’s stupid and not constructive. Why you think Apple so successful? The users are united and brainwashed not that Apple produces the superior products.

  • Would be nice if this were true. But it isn’t: http://fortune.com/2015/01/01/did-samsung-really-overtake-apple-in-consumer-satisfaction/?xid=yahoo_fortune

    In tech journalism, some facts are too good to check (would have been nice if the author of this article checked his facts!)