Consumers Weigh in on Their New Smart Phones – iPhone vs. Motorola vs. BlackBerry vs. Samsung vs. HTC

An onslaught of new smart phones have hit the market recently as manufacturers battle one another to meet the sharply escalating demand for new features and leading-edge technologies. 

To find out which manufacturers are currently winning and losing this battle, we asked 1,212 consumers who had purchased smart phones within the past six months to rate their new models. The ChangeWave survey was completed November 2, 2010. 

Customer Satisfaction Ratings

First off, we looked at customer satisfaction with the new smart phones that respondents had purchased during the past six months. 

The following chart shows the percentage who said they were Very Satisfied with the smart phone they’d purchased – broken out by manufacturer: 

As we’ve consistently seen in our consumer smart phone demand surveys, the Apple iPhone continues to outperform the industry in terms of customer satisfaction – with better than three-in-four new iPhone owners (77%) reporting they’re Very Satisfied with their new model. 

The surprise finding is Motorola’s exceptionally strong second place showing, with 71% of new Motorola smart phone owners saying they’re Very Satisfied with their purchase – 8-pts ahead of third place HTC (63%).  

Lagging behind these three smart phone leaders we find the Very Satisfied ratings for Samsung (45%) and Research in Motion (44%). But it’s important to remember that both companies just recently released their newest models (e.g., the Samsung Galaxy S line and the RIM Torch) and they’re only partially reflected in the overall satisfaction ratings. 

Here is a further breakdown of the satisfaction ratings for individual models from these smart phone manufacturers. 

Apple iPhone 4. The iPhone 4’s exceptionally high Very Satisfied rating (84% for 32GB; 78% for 16GB) confirms our earlier survey findings that despite the controversy surrounding its initial launch, the iPhone 4 has been extraordinarily well received by its owners. These iPhone 4 scores are even better than the ratings for the earlier generation iPhone 3GS models (81% for 32GB; 77% for 16GB) which were recorded in our May 2010 new smart phone owners survey.
Motorola Droid 2 and Droid X. The Droid 2 – Motorola’s latest release in its Android lineup of smart phones – also received an exceptionally high Very Satisfied rating (74%), as did the Droid X (71%) which was released one month earlier. Both models have exceeded the satisfaction rating for the original Droid (69%), recorded in our May 2010 ChangeWave survey.
HTC EVO 4G and Droid Incredible. A huge player in the Android smart phone market, HTC released its latest models last spring but they continue to outperform – with the EVO 4G registering a 76% Very Satisfied rating and the Droid Incredible 70%. Both remain among the top rated smart phones in the industry and well ahead of the rating for other HTC phones (45%).
Research in Motion (RIM) Torch. In an encouraging sign for RIM, their latest new model – the BlackBerry Torch – received a 64% Very Satisfied rating, significantly higher than the Bold (48%), Curve (40%) and other BlackBerry RIM models (37%). The high Very Satisfied rating for the Torch is a breakthrough for the Canadian smart phone manufacturer – who has lagged in customer satisfaction for the past two years of ChangeWave surveys – but it still ranks below the top-rated models of Apple, Motorola and HTC.

Samsung Galaxy S. Better than half (55%) of the purchasers of Samsung Galaxy S smart phones report they’re Very Satisfied with their new models, compared with just 28% for all other Samsung models. 

iPhone vs. the Competition

With the rumors and speculation continuing about the imminent release of a new Verizon iPhone, what impact would such a move have on the smart phone market? 

We asked non-AT&T respondents whether they’d have still purchased their new smart phone if the iPhone had been available at their wireless service provider at the time of purchase. The results show the continuing threat the iPhone poses to the rest of the industry. 

* Note that 20% reported they ‘Don’t Know’ which phone they would have purchased. 

In short, an extraordinary one-in-three non-AT&T smart phone buyers (34%) say they’d have bought the iPhone instead if it had been available at their service provider. 

A closer look at the results by specific manufacturer shows that new Motorola smart phone purchasers are likeliest to say they’d have bought the Apple iPhone (37%) if it had been available from their service provider. 

The ChangeWave survey was completed November 2, 2010. Full report details include: 

  • Key Likes and Dislikes – By Manufacturer 
  • Reasons Why New Owners Chose Their Particular Smart Phone 
  • Likelihood of Returning or Exchanging New Smart Phone 
  • Would New Owners Have Purchased an iPhone If It Had Been Available 
  • Operating System Satisfaction Ratings – Apple iOS vs. Google Android vs. RIM OS 
  • Importance of Operating System in Purchase Decision 
  • Customer Satisfaction Ratings for Top Smart Phone Models including Apple (iPhone 4); Motorola (Droid 2, Droid X); RIM BlackBerry (Torch, Bold, Curve); HTC (EVO 4G, Droid Incredible); and Samsung (Galaxy S) 

The complete ChangeWave report is available here.

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