Thursday, July 04, 2013

Apple embarrasses Samsung, tops South Korean smartphone customer satisfaction survey

Samsung's home turf is in South Korea. Given that, despite the fact that the company is tops in cell phone -- not smartphone -- sales in the world, Tuesday's news has to be embarrassing: Apple is now no. one in customer satisfaction in South Korea.

The information comes from Quality Insights, which just released a new report on customer satisfaction within the South Korean smartphone market. The survey of 44,168 smartphone owners, who were asked to rate their satisfaction with both the device's performance and the manufacturer's customer service over a one year period, put Apple at the top of the heap.

In addition, Apple's post-sales service topped the survey, with consumers giving the Cupertino, Calif.-based company a 52 percent satisfaction rate (which, truthfully, is hardly something to be pleased about). Trailing, but not by much, was the 50 percent satisfaction rate of Samsung, and a 46 percent satisfaction rate for another South Korean OEM, LG.

The survey also noted that iPhones were the least likely to need repairs in the first place. Only 17 percent of customers who purchased an iPhone had any sort of issue with them during their first year of ownership, with LG trailing in second at 25 percent, and Samsung with a number nearly double that of Apple's, at 31 percent. At 33 percent was, sadly, another South Korean OEM, Pantech.

Samsung performed still worse in terms of the likelihood of needing a second repair. 44 percent of those surveyed said they needed more than one fix. Apple's number: 25 percent.

Despite this, in general the world's largest cell phone manufacturer was close to Apple in nearly all categories.

Despite Samsung's frown over the report, it shouldn't be that surprising. Apple's iPhones have won J.D. Power's semi-annual customer satisfaction nine times in a row.

Quality Insights conducted its survey from March to April, with users ranging in age from 14 to 64.

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