Samsung Galaxy S3 tops iPhone in smartphone satisfaction poll

Two of Samsung's Galaxy smartphones scored higher grades than the three current iPhone models in a survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Samsung's Galaxy S3.
Samsung's Galaxy S3. CNET

Two Samsung phones shot past those of arch-rival Apple in a new survey measuring satisfaction among smartphone users.

The Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 both took home grades of 84 out of 100 in a study released Wednesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The Galaxy S4 was not included because the survey was conducted just prior to its debut.

Apple's iPhone 5 wound up in third place with a score of 82, followed by the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4.

Overall, Apple still came out ahead with a collective score of 81, though it's a slight drop from 83 last year. Samsung's total score was 76, up from 71 last year.

"Not only does Samsung edge ahead of all iPhones, Apple customers themselves don't see much difference between the iPhone 4, 4S, or 5," ACSI director David VanAmburg said in a statement. "The latest earnings report from Apple was better than expected, but the name of the game for Apple has always been innovation. Samsung, on the other hand, shows a strong upward ACSI trend from the Galaxy S II to the Galaxy S III. If the S4 performs as well -- or even better -- in the eyes of customers, Samsung could threaten Apple's dominance in overall customer satisfaction."


Samsung's Galaxy S2 was No. 7 on the list, scoring 78. Motorola accounted for two spots on the list, while BlackBerry also showed up twice.

Smartphone users were more satisfied with their devices than were feature phone owners. Smartphones snagged an overall score of 76, while feature phones earned a 69.

"While feature phones are cheaper, and therefore viewed by many customers as better value, smartphones excel in quality," ACSI Chairman Claes Fornell said in a statement. "Smartphones receive strong marks for feature variety, design and ease of use, with battery life as their only real shortcoming."

The study measured satisfaction levels for the ten best-selling smartphones in the U.S. over the past year. The ACSI used three factors to measure customer satisfaction: product quality, value for the money, and loyalty. A total of 4,112 smartphone owners were polled between January 21 and March 17 of 2013.