Survey: iPhone owners are the happiest

Apple's iPhone scores tops in satisfaction among smartphone owners, followed by Motorola in second place, according to ChangeWave survey.

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
3 min read

The iPhone is No. 1 in customer satisfaction, says a new ChangeWave survey, but Motorola also has its share of happy Droid users.

Among the 1,009 smartphone owners interviewed by research firm ChangeWave, results released this week found that 77 percent of all Apple iPhone owners said they're very satisfied with their phones. Motorola came in second, with 64 percent of its smartphone users who expressed high satisfaction with their phones.

In comparison, 51 percent of HTC owners and 46 percent of RIM Blackberry buyers said they're very satisfied with their smartphones.

Among specific models, Apple fans who own the newest iPhone 3GS models were more satisfied than those who still use the older 3G. And Motorola can thank the Droid for its high level of customer satisfaction--69 percent of Droid users said they're very satisfied with their phones, while only 50 percent of those who own other Motorola phones said the same.

Of course, we know that iPhone satisfaction varies a lot between rural and urban areas and by geographic location. But ChangeWave spokesman Paul Carton says the customers surveyed were a representative sampling geographically of the U.S. and Canada. Most of those surveyed were U.S. residents, he said.

Looking at HTC's customers, 68 percent of the HTC Hero owners expressed a high degree of satisfaction, compared with 50 percent of those using a Droid Eris and 38 of those with an HTC Touch. ChangeWave was running its survey just when HTC's Droid Incredible hit the market, so it couldn't provide feedback on that new model. But the research firm promised to do a follow-up survey of Droid Incredible owners.


ChangeWave also asked about the mobile operating systems running on smartphones. The iPhone OS received the highest mark, with 71 percent of those surveyed who said they're very satisfied with it. But the Android OS pulled in at a close second--67 percent of its owners said they're happy with Google's OS.

Palm's Web OS came in third with 57 percent of its customers saying they're very satisfied with it. That was followed by the RIM OS with 37 percent satisfied and Windows Mobile in the rear with only 24 percent of its owners expressing the same feelings.

What do smartphones owners like about their phones? iPhone users rated the applications, ease of use, and Internet access the top features, while Motorola fans listed applications, Internet access, and GPS/Maps as their favorites.

What don't they like? iPhone owners ranked carrier AT&T as their top complaint, followed by battery life, and then the lack of multitasking (one limitation due to be fixed when iPhone OS 4.0 debuts). Motorola users named battery life, the screen, and general functionality as their biggest gripes.

Those surveyed mentioned various reasons why they chose their smartphones. iPhone owners named the applications, the features and functionality, and ease of use and reliability as the major factors. Motorola customers listed carrier Verizon Wireless, the features and functionality, and the Android OS as the top motivators for their purchase.

Naturally, the survey also tapped into the neverending rumors about Verizon or other carriers outside of AT&T grabbing the iPhone. ChangeWave asked participants if they would have purchased the same smartphone had the iPhone been available through their carrier. Overall, 32 percent said yes, while another 29 percent didn't know.


Specifically, 46 percent of Palm owners would have picked up the iPhone, while 40 percent of Motorola owners would have opted for the Apple phone.

Conducting its survey from April 21 to May 2, ChangeWave interviewed consumers who had bought their smartphones over the prior six months.