Apple tops smartphone satisfaction for fifth time

Apple has once again secured the top position in smartphone satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Associates. It bested Motorola and HTC in that market.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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The iPhone is satisfying more customers than any other device.
The iPhone is satisfying more customers than any other device. Apple

Another year, another win for Apple in smartphone satisfaction.

According to findings released today from the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study, customers are more satisfied with Apple's iPhone than any other smartphone on the market. Apple secured a rating of 795 out of a possible 1,000 points in customer satisfaction. Motorola and HTC secured the second and third spots with 763 points and 762 points, respectively.

This isn't the first time Apple has placed at the top of a J.D. Power and Associates satisfaction study. In fact, Apple's latest win marks the fifth-consecutive year that it has bested all other smartphone makers in this study. However, customers were a smidge less satisfied with Apple's smartphone this year than they were last year. In J.D. Power and Associates' 2010 findings, Apple was able to secure 800 points of the available 1,000.

But Apple wasn't alone in seeing its satisfaction slip this year. Both Motorola and HTC have witnessed satisfaction for their devices decline significantly. In 2010, their figures stood at 791 points and 781 points, respectively.

J.D. Power and Associates said respondents based their opinions on "ease of operation, operating system, physical design, features, and battery function."

Smartphone market overall
In addition to looking at individual smartphones, J.D. Power and Associates also examined other areas of the space. It found that the average price of a "traditional mobile phone" has dropped to about $73 in 2011, down from its average price of $81 in 2009.

On the software side, J.D. Power and Associates found that around 66 percent of people have downloaded social-networking applications and games to their respective smartphone. Travel programs and "entertainment-oriented applications" were also popular among smartphone owners with 54 percent and 53 percent of respondents saying they have downloaded those types of apps, respectively.

One other interesting tidbit: smartphone owners who access social networks from their devices are more likely to be satisfied. Smartphone satisfaction is 783 points among those people, compared to 761 for those who don't access social networks from their smartphones.

The J.D. Power and Associates findings were based on surveys of nearly 7,300 smartphone owners between July and December 2010.