ChangeWave Research: iPhone 4 Owners Happy, for the Most Part

Aug 4, 2010
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ChangeWave Research: iPhone 4 Owners Happy, for the Most Part

When it comes to high profile devices, getting feedback from customers is one of the best ways for companies and manufacturers alike to see how their product stacks against the competition. And, most importantly, how it favors to those who dropped their hard earned cash on the product. For the iPhone 4, we all know the troubles the Apple manufactured handset is having, and that's why research and results, like the one just revealed by ChangeWave is so important. So is the iPhone 4 well liked? Find out after the cut.

We aren't going to get away from seeing reports of the antenna issue ("antennagate") in a report like this, and it's pretty obvious that the issue plagues the results themselves. Even if owners are overall pleased with their new iPhone, there's also the fact that they don't seem to be as happy as customers who initially purchased the iPhone 3GS. ChangeWave reports that, despite the good scores from this report, they aren't as extraordinary as the early iPhone 3GS satisfaction numbers, taken back in August of 2009. Going by the numbers, ChangeWave says that a strong 71% of responders declared that they were Very Satisfied with their iPhone 4, while only 21% were Somewhat Satisfied.

To the point we can't escape from: the antenna and dropped calls. Surprisingly enough, the report states that customers are reporting a better dropped call rate than the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 4 had a score of 5.2%, while the previous model had a 6.3%. Basically, that means that iPhone 4 customers, on average, are experiencing less dropped calls than the iPhone 3GS. We're sure Apple would be happy to hear that.

So, with all of those numbers, you'd imagine that the overall statement from ChangeWave would be that the iPhone 4 is highly praised and well admired by everyone who purchased one. But, they are sure to note at the end of the report that, despite all the praise and good scores (and fewer dropped calls), that owner ratings just aren't as high as they were at this point in time with the iPhone 3GS. They attribute this fact to one-in-five folks claiming antenna problems with their iPhone 4, which would definitely put a damper on the whole shebang.

On a personal SlashGear note, our very own Vincent Nguyen has an iPhone 4. And, truth be told, he is pleased with the device as a whole. We're sure you've seen our review, but even now he is still happy with the new version of the iPhone, and hasn't experienced any issues with the antenna on his own model. If he had been part of this report, he more than likely would have been tucked away pretty comfortably in that 71% of satisfied customer category. Check out the report below, and we've included one of the videos from the iPhone 4 review below, as well.

Official Report

Rockville, MD, August 4, 2010 –The iPhone 4 launched in late June and was initially heralded as one of the most successful product releases in Apple’s history. But within days the firestorm over reception and antenna issues unleashed an exceptional degree of critical commentary.

Despite this controversy, one of the biggest unknowns has been what actual iPhone 4 owners really think about their new smart phones. To find out, a July ChangeWave survey has taken an in-depth look at the reactions and opinions of 213 Apple iPhone 4 owners.

Survey findings include:

New owner satisfaction ratings
Key likes and dislikes
Impact of the iPhone 4 antenna issue and reaction to Apple's solution
Comparison of iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS dropped call rates
Below is a brief look at two key findings. For a more in-depth look at the latest ChangeWave Apple iPhone 4 findings, follow this link.

Customer Satisfaction: iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 3GS

The initial satisfaction ratings for the iPhone 4 show a high degree of customer approval – with 72% of owners saying they’re Very Satisfied and 21% Somewhat Satisfied with their new phone.

But despite these good scores, the initial iPhone 4 ratings aren’t quite as extraordinary as the early iPhone 3GS satisfaction numbers seen in our August 2009 survey. Here’s a comparison of the two iPhone models’ in terms of customer satisfaction.

The Issue of Dropped Calls

Historically, our ChangeWave surveys have focused on the issue of dropped calls exclusively among wireless service providers. The belief has been that differences in dropped call rates are largely the result of differences between wireless provider networks.

But in the current survey, we’ve taken a close-up look at the dropped call rating among iPhone 4 owners and compared it to the dropped call rating for iPhone 3GS owners from a June 2010 ChangeWave survey.

We believe a fair and accurate comparison is possible here because both groups of owners primarily use AT&T as their service provider. In other words, we’re able to factor out differences between the two groups that could be due to different provider networks.

Here are the results:

In a surprising finding, iPhone 4 owners reported a better dropped call rating (5.2%) than their 3GS counterparts (6.3%).

In other words, despite the hoopla surrounding the antenna issue, in actuality iPhone 4 owners report experiencing slightly fewer dropped calls on the average than do iPhone 3GS owners.

Summary. Despite the waves of controversy that surrounded the iPhone 4 within days of its launch, the latest Apple release is outperforming almost every other smart phone in the industry in terms of overall customer satisfaction and meeting owners’ expectations.

Moreover in reality, iPhone 4 owners report experiencing fewer dropped calls than do iPhone 3GS owners.

That said, while the iPhone 4 has been very well received, its owner ratings aren’t as high as the numbers we saw at a similar point in time for the 3GS launch.

This is likely attributable to the fact that one-in-five iPhone 4 owners appear to have been at least somewhat negatively affected by the phone’s reception and antenna issues and the ensuing drumbeat of controversy.

For a more in-depth look at the latest ChangeWave Apple iPhone 4 findings, follow this link.


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