Apple tops smartphone satisfaction survey for ninth consecutive time

iPhone maker scores 855 out of 1,000, but rivals are catching up

Happy with your iPhone? You're not alone. Apple has topped a US smartphone satisfaction survey for the ninth consecutive time.

The iPhone maker scored 855 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power's semi-annual customer satisfaction survey. According to J.D. Power, Apple scored highly in the areas of physical design and ease of operation.

In previous surveys, Apple has often been miles ahead of the competition. However, this year saw customer satisfaction with their smartphones average 796 out of 1,000.

The increase of 22 points since the last report (released September 2012), was put down to a growing number of features and services "providing a seamless product experience between the operating system functions and third-party apps" by J.D. Power.

The biggest increase in customer satisfaction though came in the performance category. The increased reliability of non-iOS operating systems, better processing speeds, and higher quality cameras have all significantly improved average scores.

"As the capabilities of wireless phones and their applications continue to expand, and as customers grow more reliant on their device, handset manufacturers have an opportunity to further shape the customer experience and impact satisfaction with better integration of services and more communication options, such as video chat," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at J.D. Power and Associates.

"It is important, however, that manufacturers meet the expectations of those customers who take advantage of such offers by ensuring the features are intuitive and, ultimately, rewarding to them.

"Providing an easy-to-use, yet powerful operating system with the ability to customise applications to suit individual needs is essential to providing a high-quality and rewarding wireless experience," he added.

J.D. Power did not name satisfaction for individual vendors other than Apple, restricting those details to those that purchase the paid report.

The study spoke to 9,767 US smartphone owners and 6,759 US mobile phone owners between July and December 2012.

It also found that three quarters (76 per cent) of mobile phone owners are "definitely planing" to upgrade to a smartphone in the next 12 months.

In the mobile phone survey, LG held onto the top spot for the third consecutive report with a score of 719 out of 1,000. Nokia held onto second place, and only just missed out on reclaiming the top spot with a score of 714 out of 1,000.

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