The takeaway from the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index boils down to this: smartphone customers dig their iPhones, despise their BlackBerrys, and are "meh" about the others in between.
The ACSI results, which measured satisfaction on a 0-to-100 scale, gave Apple an 83, marking the first time any maker of cell phones finished with that high a ranking. The annual survey compiles the opinions of about 70,000 customers on myriad topics. This was the first time that Apple and RIM (along with HTC and LG) got included in the survey. The next three companies -- Nokia, LG, and HTC -- tied at 75. (It is likely too early for Nokia's Lumia 900 to really impact the results.)
A couple of brands associated with Google's Android mobile operating system fared less well. Motorola dropped 5 percent, to 73, while Samsung declined 4 percent, to finish with a score of 71. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion finished with the worst score among its peers, at 69, five points below the industry average.
By coincidence, Apple also has been the top-ranked computer maker in the last eight ACSI surveys of PC manufacturers.