iPhone beats RIM, others in satisfaction survey

All four iPhone models beat RIM, Motorola, HTC, and Samsung in a recent customer satisfaction survey.

Apple

Apple's iPhone is one of the most sought-after devices on the market, and according to a new survey, it also has the highest customer satisfaction rating among smartphone buyers.

The survey, conducted by market research firm ChangeWave, asked 1,212 consumers who had purchased a smartphone in the last six months how satisfied they were with their purchase.

Apple's iPhone topped the list of customers who said the were very satisfied, with a 77 percent approval rating. Motorola came in second with 71 percent, followed by HTC (63 percent), Samsung (45 percent), and RIM (44 percent).

All four models of iPhones surveyed received high marks. In fact, even the lowest-scoring iPhone model had higher customer approval ratings than the highest-rated phones from competing manufacturers.

The iPhone 4 (32GB) had an satisfaction rating of 84 percent, while the iPhone 4 (16GB) came in at 78 percent. The iPhone 3GS (32GB) was the second highest rated iPhone with 81 percent satisfaction, followed by the iPhone 3GS (16GB) with 77 percent.

Just as interesting were the low satisfaction ratings among consumers for a few of RIM's recent releases. The highest rated BlackBerry, the Torch, had a "very satisfied" rating of 64 percent. Other RIM phones didn't fare as well. The BlackBerry Bold garnered a 48 percent satisfaction rating, followed by the Curve at 40 percent.

ChangeWave

Of course, the iPhone is only available from AT&T in the U.S., and ChangeWave wanted to see how hardware choices might be affected by what carrier people are on. What if the iPhone was available from other carriers? Would that affect the decisions people make about what smartphone they buy? According to the survey it would--at least for some.

ChangeWave asked non-AT&T customers whether they would still buy their current smartphone if the iPhone had been a choice on their current carrier. Overall, 46 percent said they would keep their current phones, while 34 percent said they would have bought an iPhone if it were available.

Getting a bit more specific, HTC customers were least likely to give up their current smartphone for an iPhone, with 54 percent of HTC customers saying they would keep their current model. Fifty percent of Samsung users said they'd keep their current phone. Things got a bit closer with the BlackBerry. Overall, 45 percent of BlackBerry buyers would have kept their devices. Motorola fared the worst among respondents. Thirty-nine percent would have kept their Motorola devices, but 37 percent would have chosen an iPhone instead.

ChangeWave's findings match those of J.D. Power and Associates released in September , which put Apple on the top of its smartphone satisfaction list.

In October, a new report from Strategy Analytics showed that Apple had shipped more smartphones than RIM in the third quarter . According to the report, Apple shipped 15.4 million smartphones compared to RIM's 12.3 million.

Perhaps customer satisfaction is affecting sales figures more than some companies would like to admit.

About the author

Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.

 

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