Survey Says: PCMag's Readers Crown the iPhone King, Despite Quibbles

Despite rumblings from some iPhone users about how Apple’s exclusive contract with AT&T as service provider for the iPhone should end, respondents in PCMag.com’s 2009 Cell Phone Service & Reliability study have crowned it king of the mobile market.

As many of you already know, I joined GigaOM after many years as an editor for PC Magazine, and more recently, for the PCMag Digital Network, which includes the digital incarnation of what the print magazine once was. The Service & Reliability reader studies are by no means your average surveys. In them, large, statistically significant samples of reader responses for various technology product categories get collected, sifted, analyzed and even put through statistical confidence tests to remove all possible noise from the data.

As you can see above, respondents in the PCMag.com survey gave the iPhone a remarkably high score (overall scores in these surveys are rarely much higher than 9.0). PCMag’s cell phone guru, Sascha Segan, writes:

“Like the dude, our readers’ love affair with the Apple iPhone abides, as it was the only phone brand they rated significantly better than average, making it the clear Readers’ Choice with a SBA 9.0 out of 10.”

However, Segan also notes that individual ratings for the iPhone for coverage, call quality and sound quality were all down compared to last year’s survey results. Here are some other notable findings that he singles out:

“Research In Motion’s BlackBerry phones also scored well, though not as well as last year, possibly because quite a lot of them required technical support.”

“For pure voice phones, Samsung models on Verizon Wireless offered the best reliability and voice quality scores.”

“On AT&T, Motorola phones were the most reliable, and Nokia devices had superior reception and sound quality. ”

“Motorola’s phones were the lowest-rated on Verizon.”

There are many more interesting findings in the survey results. You can download a PDF version of the underlying data, or view pop-up tables showing ratings for both phones and wireless carriers.