Satisfaction With Smartphones Nearly Equal Between Apple, Samsung

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The more consumers use a smartphone to operate connected home services like smart appliances and thermostats, the better they like their smartphones. The highest ratings were reported by consumers who also have a voice-activated device such as the Echo from Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) or Google Home from Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL).

Among full-service smartphone makers, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) ranked highest with a score of 840 out of a possible 1,000 points. Samsung Electronics ranked second with a score of 839, a virtual tie.

The results were reported Thursday morning by J.D. Power in the firm’s 2017 Full-Service Smartphone Satisfaction Study.

The average score among five smartphone makers was 835, with Motorola scoring 824, HTC scoring 817 and LG Electronics scoring 810.

J.D. Power’s Kirk Parsons said:

Customers with connected home devices are able to improve the comfort, convenience and security of their living spaces with their smartphone devices. They are more satisfied with their smartphones because they can take advantage of smartphone functionalities that other customers may not be aware of. Smartphone manufacturers that make it easier for their products to connect with other devices will have a major advantage in improving customer satisfaction as homes become smarter and more automated.

Satisfaction is 74 points higher among consumers who have connected home devices compared with those that don’t. Consumers who use their smartphones daily to communicate with their connected home devices are even more satisfied: a score of 926 was reported for consumers who used their smartphones daily with a smart thermostat compared with a score of 866 for those who used their smartphones for such purposes less than daily; a score of 929 versus 851 for consumers who used their phones daily with a smart appliance; and 928 versus 878 who used their smartphones daily with a voice-activated digital assistant.

Among the top wireless network carriers, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was ranked best with a score of 841, followed by Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) with 840, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) with 831, United States Cellular Corp. (NYSE: USM) at 829 and T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) at 828.

The J.D. Power study measures customer satisfaction based on five factors (in order of importance): performance (25%); ease of operation (21%); battery (20%); physical design (19%); and features (16%). The study is based on experiences evaluated by 7,994 smartphone customers who have owned their current smartphone for less than one year and who are customers of one of the five Tier 1 wireless carriers. The study was fielded between October and December 2016.