It should come as no surprise to smartphone users, but a customer satisfaction survey recently performed by JD Power has smartphones scoring higher than their limited-tech dumbphone siblings. And, of course, Apple's cellphone is the one users like the most.
It's possible of course that Apple fanboyism, or whatever you dub the fierce brand loyalty Apple users exhibit, is responsible for twisting the data. But you can't argue that among the devices surveyed by JD, the iPhone's score of 791 out of 1,000 places it at the top of the phone pile. That's beating both smartphones and dumbphones. Respondents who filled out the questionnaire praised its simplicity, design, and quality OS.
Other results from the survey are interesting too. Among smartphones, the average satisfaction figure was 751, and only Apple, LG, and Samsung scored above that figure. The devices resting below the average were mainly Windows Mobile handsets, with troubled Motorola scoring just 659. Even the humble Blackberry scored a lowly 739.
Traditional dumbphones averaged a 707 figure, and LG and Sony Ericsson's devices scored above that, while many others, including "industry leader" Nokia scored below 700.
Now statistics can be played a number of different ways—as the panic induced by figures representing the danger swine flu shows—but this data corresponds with what we know about all of these handsets, and the general trend towards smartphones. BlackBerrys are terribly useful, but fiddly to use. Motorola's horrid menu-driven OS has haunted the user-friendliness of its devices forever. Windows Mobile is a menu-ridden mess. Sony makes unusual and pretty powerful dumbphones, and Apple's iPhone is a triumph of design and a user-friendly OS.
The figures also definitely point in one direction: The days of the dumbphone are numbered. But JD's data also showed that a third of traditional phone owners questioned want some kind of GPS capability on their next phone. That's an advanced function, and it means that there's a push to smarten-up the average dumbphone experience.