The Macalope Daily: Can't get no satisfaction

The American Customer Satisfaction Index published numbers this week, and Apple’s on top again which, you know, yawn, bor-ing. What the Macalope finds interesting is that people are still puzzling over how Apple does it.

ASCI’s Claes Fornell said:

Apple’s winning combination of innovation and product diversification—including spinning off technologies into entirely new directions—has kept the company consistently at the leading edge.

Like Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, the Macalope doesn’t think that’s really a great explanation.

This is an interesting point, but I’m not so sure that it’s innovation and diversification which makes the difference. Sure, there’s a halo around pretty much everything that Apple does, but I’m not sure that extends to people’s satisfaction with the company. No, I think people are giving Apple a high satisfaction rating based on two things:

OK, that’s part of it, but we’re still not there yet.

This survey happened to be about PCs, which is really too bad, because the Macalope has an anecdote to tell about quality, but it’s about smartphones not PCs. Shoot, if only a survey would come out about smartphones that would let the Macalope use his anec-

iPhone showing 89 percent retention rate, survey indicates

Hey! That was easy.

Anyway, the Macalope had the opportunity to try the highly-touted Droid Bionic last week. It’s a nice phone—the 4G is quite zippy, and we all know Android makes with the eye candy—but the Macalope would describe the build quality as only good, not truly great. Probably slightly less nice than the iPhone 3G/3GS body, which was the worst of the iPhone line. And he’s never seen a PC with anything approaching the build quality of a Mac.

This issue’s been raised before, but the most obnoxious thing is the branding. The front of the Bionic is adorned with two logos: Verizon’s and Motorola’s. But, wait! That’s not all! Oh, sure, you say “But, Macalope! That’s already 100% more logos than on an iPhone! Are you saying there are more?!” You betcha. Turn the Bionic over and you’ll find not one, not two, but three additional logos provided to you at no extra charge! That’s right! Bonus Motorola and Verizon logos (in case you forgot who made your phone and who provided your cell service in the time it took you to flip the phone over) and one for Google… all free! You won’t find that many logos on an iPhone, friend. Once again, Android has more.

Five logos.

What is this, NASCAR?

You hold an iPhone 4 or a MacBook Air in your hand and it feels like art. This kind of talk, of course, drives anti-Apple people absolutely bonkers. “It’s not art, Jobsoid! It’s just a computer, Apple fanboi! It doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it gets the job done, uh, Bob Mansfieldian!”

Right. And nobody ever bought a car based on design, either, because it just doesn’t matter.

So, just give it up, PC and Android users. The Macalope would submit to you that your OEMs are never going to rise to Apple’s level of customer satisfaction, because their business model is structured so that it’s impossible for them. The only thing you can hope for is Apple falling.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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