New customer satisfaction surveys show that Apple has done a clever job keeping users satisfied, despite recent iPhone battery life and Exchange e-mail brouhahas. But AT&T -- well that's quite another story.
Everyone is supposed to love their iPhones, lest they be branded an Apple hater. But Apple's comeuppance is at hand.
In the latest going-gaga-for-iPhone customer satisfaction study, CFI Group reported that the iPhone took top honors among smartphones after surveying more than 1,000 users. The iPhone scored 83 on a 100-point scale. Android and the Pre tied for second at 77, followed by BlackBerry (73) and Palm's Treo (70).
CFI's study echoes another recent survey by RBC/IQ ChangeWave, which found that 99 percent of 200 respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with their iPhone 3GS. And earlier this summer, the American Customer Satisfaction Index released its customer satisfaction scores, which showed that-surprise!-Apple continues to rank above its competitors.
Moreover, criticisms about the iPhone have been directed at anyone other than Apple. The number one iPhone complaint is aimed at AT&T's shoddy service, which is due largely to an overtaxed network. Never mind that Apple deftly negotiated the exclusivity deal.
Poor battery performance? That's on iPhone users themselves for taking advantage of all the lovely apps. Now it's up to users to disable power-hungry features or purchase a battery pack to breathe more life into the iPhone.
The latest iPhone controversy concerns the new iPhone 3.1 software update that disables corporate Microsoft Exchange e-mail access for some first-gen iPhone and iPhone 3G users, first reported by CIO.com writer Al Sacco. Corporate IT departments, not Apple, are being blamed for being inflexible.
But Apple's time for taking responsibility is coming: Will Apple extend the AT&T exclusivity deal or open up the iPhone to other carriers? Analysts have taken different positions. My story covering this debate led to a flood of email from iPhone customers and wannabe customers.
Virtually all of these consumers really, really don't want to see an AT&T contract extension-and they'll likely hold Apple accountable if it happens.
Here's some of their comments:
- "I think it is never a good thing to have an exclusive agreement. It stifles innovation and competition and keeps prices artificially inflated."
- "When (or should I say, if) the iPhone comes to Verizon, I will call in sick to work and spend the night in line to be the first person to own an Apple iPhone on Verizon's network. Should I hold my breath?"
- "No more, please."
This story, "Apple iPhone Users: It's All Good -- Except AT&T" was originally published by CIO.