American Consumers Liking Their Electronic Devices More This Year

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Following a three-year slide in satisfaction with personal computers, U.S. consumers have reversed field in 2016. PCs improved their customer satisfaction rating by 1.3% on the most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Household Appliances and Electronics report. The report includes survey data on desktop, laptop, and tablet computers in addition to televisions, household appliances, and computer software.

Customer satisfaction for desktop computers remained unchanged with an index score of 81 (out of a possible 100). Tablets improved their score by 4% to an index of 78, one point higher than the laptop index score of 77. Laptop scores improved by 3% year over year.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) remains the overall leader in customer satisfaction among manufacturers with an index score of 84, unchanged in the past year. Samsung Electronics weighs in at second place with an index of 83, up 5 points (6%) year over year. Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) finished third with an index score of 80 (up 3%) on the strength of its Amazon Fire tablets. The biggest gain was posted by Acer which saw its index score jump 11% to 78.

Claes Fornell, ASCI’s founder and chairman said:

In an increasingly mobile world, smartphones are the biggest threat to PC sales, and tablets have not been the long-term panacea the PC industry was hoping for. Interestingly, the two companies that lead in smartphone satisfaction also lead the PC industry, although they have very different strategies regarding the future of tablets. Apple is targeting business customers on the go with laptop-like features for its iPad, while Samsung tablets occupy their own space as devices for entertainment and browsing — not laptop replacements.

Customer satisfaction with computer software rose to an all-time high index score of 81. The boost is largely the result of a 7% boost in the index score for Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) which rose 9.5% to 80. Smaller software programs such as anti-virus and tax prep software improved 9% to an index score of 81.

The top appliance makers in the 2016 survey are LG Electronics with an index score of 85 followed by Bosch and Samsung, both with a score of 84.

Low prices and new, smart technology raised customer satisfaction to an all-time high of 87, up 6.1% year over year.

The ASCI Household Appliance and Electronics Report 2016 on personal computers, computer software, major household appliances, and televisions and DVD/Blu-ray players is based on interviews with 3,500 customers, chose at random and contacted via email between June 17 and June 30, 2016. Customers were asked to evaluate their experiences with recently purchased products of the largest manufacturers in terms of market share, plus an aggregate category consisting of “all other” — and thus smaller — companies in these industries.

The survey data are used as inputs to ACSI’s cause-and-effect econometric model, which estimates customer satisfaction as the result of the survey-measured inputs of customer expectations, perceptions of quality, and perceptions of value. The ACSI model, in turn, links customer satisfaction with the survey -measured outcomes of customer complaints and customer loyalty.