J.D. Power ranks Apple’s iPhone highest in new study

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J.D. Power and Associates ranked Apple’s iPhone highest in overall customer satisfaction among business wireless smartphone users. The results are part of a new study released on Thursday that rates customer satisfaction.

The iPhone recevied a score of 778 on a 1,000-point scale, the company said. Apple scored well in several categories including ease of operation, physical design and handset feature factors.

Apple competitors Research in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry scored a 703 and Samsung scored a 701 in the survey.

“With the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, Apple has clearly differentiated itself from the competition in areas that are most important to business smartphone users,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services for J.D. Power and Associates. “By making basic applications and features easy to use and providing functionality in a thin, lightweight device, Apple has performed well in exceeding customer expectations.”

Of the problems reported with smartphones in general, 44 percent of users said they had to reboot their device at least once a week. Application malfunctions and freezing were the highest reported problem in the survey.

The study also found that 60 percent of iPhone owners regularily used a wireless headset. Motorola had the highest number in that segment of users with 86 percent of its customers using a wireless headset.

The average purchase price of a smartphone has gone down from $261 in 2007 to $216 in 2008. iPhone customers reported the highest average purchase price of $337.

Overall, the top five reasons consumers gave for purchasing a smartphone brand are: Internet capability (45%); ability to use e-mail account (41%); overall design/style (39%); Bluetooth capabilities (37%); and keyboard style (e.g., QWERTY) (37%).

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