Satisfaction studies can sound like broken records, with familiar leaders and positions that don’t move. Not so with J.D. Power’s first smartphone survey for 2013. While Apple maintained the top spot for the ninth time in a row through US customers’ happiness with the hardware design and ease of use, most of its major competitors made big strides in reliability, speed and camera quality in the past half-year — to the point where there was a virtual dead heat for second place between HTC, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung. They lifted the average by about 22 points and left only LG (which has few high-end US phones) and a pre-transition BlackBerry lagging behind. We wouldn’t be surprised to see an improvement for those last two by the September study.
Whatever your platform preference, J.D. Power has found some shared experiences. Bugs are still a problem on phones when about 17 percent of those asked ran into some kind of glitch. However, it’s clear that those who lean heavily on their smartphones tend to love them: survey takers who used social networking apps for 100-plus minutes a week were significantly more likely to recommend whatever they had. That might help explain a high conversion rate among basic phone owners, where three quarters of those planning to update their devices expected to move to a smartphone.
Source: J.D. Power
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