Apple's touch-screen smartphone fared well in every category, according to J.D. Power and Associates.
By Marin Perez
May 1, 2009 Information Week
Apple's iPhone was dominant in the latest customer satisfaction survey from J.D. Power and Associates.
The survey measured customer satisfaction with handsets based on operation, physical design, features, operating system, and battery functionality. The iPhone rated highly in every category except for the battery, as the Internet connectivity and GPS functionality can be a power drain. Apple was the highest-ranking smartphone manufacturer with a score of 791 on a 1,000-point scale.
The survey said smartphone users saw their devices as a central hub of communication, as more than 40% of them ditched their landlines entirely. On average, smartphone users reported sending and receiving 17 e-mails a day on the go, and 82% regularly used the handset's personal information management capabilities for organizing calendars and contact data.
While smartphones like the iPhone and Palm Pre are expected to sell well in a down year for mobile phones, the vast majority of users still have a standard cell phone. The survey found many customers are relatively happy with standard mobile phone despite being aware of the features that smartphones have, like mobile e-mail and Web browsing.
"Many owners of traditional handsets do not believe that the service cost associated with owning a smartphone is justified, as they indicate they would not take full advantage of the advanced features," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power, in a statement. "Given the current economic climate, consumers are very aware of the extra cost associated with owning a smartphone that they may not use for more than basic calling and texting."
LG Electronics ranked the highest overall among traditional handset makers, and it was followed by Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson.
Smartphones are becoming increasingly capable of using enterprise-grade applications on the go, and they could ultimately be replacements for laptops. InformationWeek examined this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).