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J.D. Power finds higher-end phones make you happier

The consumer satisfaction researcher finds US phone owners are better pleased by pricier handsets from major carriers.


Does a higher-end phone make you happier?

James Martin/CNET

Into a barrage of damaging headlines comes a rare bright spot for Samsung, whose fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 has been nothing short of disastrous. A J.D. Power study published Thursday found that Samsung phones rank highest in overall satisfaction among AT&T and Sprint customers. T-Mobile and Verizon customers liked Apple iPhones best.

Drawing on that study and a companion study, both fielded in the months leading up to August of this year, J.D. Power also concluded that:

  • Customers of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon (full-service carriers) report more satisfaction than customers on Boost Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS and Virgin Mobile (no-contract carriers).
  • Full-service customers pay an average of $361 for their phones compared with prepaid customers' $137 average.
  • Customers who pay more for their phones report higher satisfaction.
  • This is likely because high-cost phones perform better.

Forgive me for not being to stifle a no duh on the last point. It'll be interesting to see if phone owners still feel the same way about Samsung in J.D. Power's future reports, or if this year's troubled Galaxy Note 7 release and subsequent recall drops the phone below Apple, LG and maybe Google's new Pixels.