iPhone Ranks First Again in J.D. Power Survey

For the second year in a row, Apple’s iPhone is at the top of the global marketing firm’s satisfaction survey for business users of smartphones, and the iPhone also wins among consumers, too.

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Based on a thousand-point scale, 1,148 business users were asked to rate smartphones on five weighted criteria: ease of use (29 percent); OS (23 percent); physical design (21 percent); features (16 percent); and battery life (11 percent). The iPhone scored 803, up from 778 last year, and far above the industry average of 724 for the 2009 survey. That number, 724, was also the score of the second place finisher, RIM’s BlackBerry. The rest of the survey, Samsung, HTC, and Palm all scored below 700.

Interestingly, Apple’s efforts to sell the iPhone in the workplace with enterprise features like Exchange support may not be the driving factor in the iPhone’s increasingly popularity among business users. While nearly half of smartphone users report downloading business utility applications to increase productivity, more than half download third-party games. As the App Store utterly dominates that software genre, it can only mean good news for the iPhone in business in the future. As for the general consumer, the iPhone scored even better in the survey.

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Some 3,221 smartphone owners rated their devices as follows: ease of use (30 percent); OS (22 percent); features (21 percent); physical design (18 percent); and battery life (9 percent). Apple scored 811, above average in every area except battery life. No other competitor managed to score above 800, with second-place LG being the only other manufacturer to score above the industry average. Third place went to the RIM BlackBerry, but more interesting was the lackluster performance of Palm.

It appears the Pre and webOS have yet to impact positively for Palm in the survey. Further, 22 percent of smartphone owners want Wi-Fi in their next handset, something the forthcoming Palm Pixi curiously lacks. Consumers are also looking for a touch-screen interface, 21 percent, and GPS, 17 percent. The iPhone has all those features, but those features all require something the iPhone needs more of: battery life, battery life, battery life. Let’s hope Apple is paying attention to that part of this survey, too.

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