The large screens of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2 helped Samsung’s flagship smartphones beat out the iPhone 5 in consumer satisfaction.
The Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 beat out the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S with scores of 84 compared to 82 in the study from the American Customer Satisfaction Index at Michigan State. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is absent as the survey completed in March 2013 ahead of the launch of the device.
This data looks at consumer satisfaction in the U.S. A survey using the same criteria placed the iPhone 5 ahead of the Galaxy S3 in Korea.
Apple and Samsung work together for some components of these top smartphones, but when it comes to sales and marketing the companies are bitter rivals. Samsung ads often highlight features that aren’t found on the iPhone or slam Apple users.
This new report comes right as Apple is reportedly putting the finishing details on the iPhone 5S release date and Samsung is hurriedly working on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with a larger display.
While Apple increased the iPhone 5 screen size in 2012, it still lags far behind the Galaxy S3, S4 and Note 2 screens which range from 4.8-inches to 5.5-inches. ACSI Director David VanAmburg told Fierce Wireless that screen size could be a key part of Samsung’s success calling the Galaxy S3 a “game-changer for Samsung.”
Multiple analyst comments and leaks indicate Apple is at least experimenting with larger screen sizes, any major changes will likely need to wait for the iPhone 6 in 2014. All signs indicate the iPhone 5S and rumored iPhone 5C will feature a 4-inch display like the iPhone 5. Tim Cook, Apple CEO, recently told investors Apple is open to larger screen sizes, but there are too many tradeoffs in the current large screens to include them in the iPhone.
“A large screen today comes with a lot of trade-offs. People do look at the size. They also look at things like do the photos show the proper color. Battery life, brightness, etc.” – Tim Cook at AllThingsD
Apple partners with Samsung Display, LG Display and others to source the screens for the iPhone. Both of these companies are working on new display technology which could eventually work its way into the iPhone 6 or later, if Apple identifies a large enough demand for a big screen on the iPhone. Samsung is heavily invested in flexible screens and LG Display just introduced a super-thin 5-inch 1080P HD display with a high brightness rating, which could help address these trade offs.
An iPhone 6 prototype allegedly used a 4.8-inch display with a higher resolution back in December and a separate report from Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets claims Apple needs a larger screen on the iPhone to win in Asian markets. White claims we could see the larger screen in 2013, but this does not match up with other leaks and reports.
A larger screen alone is not the key identifier of smartphone satisfaction, but as Samsung improves the build quality of the Galaxy series and delivers a better user experience on top of Android, Apple will face increased competition.
Samsung is reportedly working on a Galaxy Note 3 phablet to arrive in September with a 5.7-inch 1080P HD display. Super-large screens don’t traditionally attract as much attention as the more reasonable sub 5-inch screens on the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4, but Samsung’s shown that there is demand for a big screen smartphone selling 5 million in the first two months of availability. For comparison the iPhone 5 sold that number in opening weekend.
Overall smartphone satisfaction climbed by nearly 3% in the survey and the following devices earned billing as the top smartphones for consumer satisfaction.
- Galaxy S3
- Galaxy note 2
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 45
- iPhone 4
- Droid RAZR MAXX HD
- Galaxy S2
- Droid RAZR
- BlackBerry Curve
- BlackBerry Bold
The tables could quickly change as the iPhone 5S release and Galaxy Note 3 release arrive later this year alongside other devices like the Motorola Droid Maxx and the Moto X.
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