Apple has been named number one in consumer satisfaction in the consumer and business smartphone market while LG is number one in the traditional feature phone market, according to the JD Power and Associates 2009 Wireless Consumer Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study.
Surprisingly, in the overall customer satisfaction rank, Nokia, the world's largest mobile handset maker, is placed at the bottom along with Kyocera. Similarly, in the smartphone category, the Finnish mobile maker couldn't even find a place among seven handset makers.
A smartphone is a phone with an operating system that is able to run more than the built-in applications while a feature phone is a phone with pre-set applications that can allow downloads but is not considered a smartphone. BlackBerry is a smartphone while Nokia Supernova is a feature phone.
The study pointed out that satisfaction among consumer smartphone owners has increased by 14 index points (on a 1,000-point scale) from just six months ago, while satisfaction among business owners has increased by 43 index points from 2008 as these devices have become more stylish, customisable and user-friendly.
Among traditional mobile phone owners, overall satisfaction has declined by six index points from April 2009, likely as a result of heightened awareness among traditional mobile phone owners of advanced features available on smartphones, the study said.
Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones used primarily for personal reasons, with a score of 811, and performs particularly well in ease of operation, operating system, features and physical design. LG (776) and RIM BlackBerry (759) follow Apple in the rankings. HTC, Motorola, Palm and Samsung were rated as "The rest".
Among customers who use their smartphones primarily for business purposes, Apple ranks highest with a score of 803, followed by RIM BlackBerry (724).
LG ranks highest in overall wireless customer satisfaction with traditional handsets with a score of 723, performing well across all factors, particularly battery function, features and operation. LG is followed by Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung and Sanyo. Nokia is just few points ahead of Kyocera due to its better battery performance.
The study also pointed out an interesting trend about landline phones that are facing a slow death at the hands of mobile phones. JD Power says more than 40% of smartphone owners have entirely replaced landline calling with mobile phone calling, while only 27% of traditional handset owners have done the same.
Among business smartphone owners, more than one-half report downloading third-party games for entertainment, while 46% report downloading travel software such as maps and weather applications—indicating that business users are also integrating their devices into their personal lives. In addition, nearly one-half of owners (46%) report downloading business utility applications to increase productivity.