New Study: (Most) iPhone 4 Owners are Satisfied

By  |  Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 11:50 am

A couple of weeks ago, we published the results of a survey of Technologizer readers–both iPhone 4 owners and prospective iPhone 4 owners–about the “Antennagate” controversy. While the happy campers outnumbered the disgruntled consumers, it did show a meaningful minority as dissatisfied, some to the point where they said they intended to return the phone.

I said that we weren’t attempting to collect data that was projectable to reflect the experiences and opinions of all iPhone 4 owners. Nevertheless, a bunch of irate commenters griped about the survey because…it wasn’t projectable to reflect the experiences and opinions of all iPhone owners. They explained to me why our methodology was meaningless. (As my friend and former colleague Ed Albro noted, you never know how many statistics experts read your publication until you publish a study whose conclusions they dislike.)

Okay. ChangeWave, an outfit that does nothing but consumer research, has conducted an iPhone 4 satisfaction survey of its own. The company doesn’t detail how it found iPhone 4 owners to survey, or the demographic breakdown of respondents. (It does say that it surveyed 213 people–I surveyed 500, and several people who didn’t like our conclusions informed me that anyone who knows anything about surveys knows that was so small a sample as to be meaningless.)

The scope of ChangeWave’s study is radically different from Technologizer’s little survey–it asked a comprehensive set of questions relating to satisfaction (similar to our iPad survey), while we focused in on the antenna dustup. And ChangeWave surveyed only owners, while we also collected data from other interested parties.

Overall, ChangeWave found high levels of satisfaction with the iPhone 4, but the company thinks the antenna controversy had an impact:

  • Ninety-three percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat satisfied with their iPhones. (Impressive–but down from the 99 percent of iPhone 3GS owners who said the same thing in a 2009 ChangeWave survey.)
  • Twenty-four percent said that excessive dropped calls was the thing they disliked most about the iPhone 4…but respondents reported fewer dropped calls than iPhone 3GS owners did in the earlier survey.
  • Seventy-three percent of respondents said that they were very or somewhat satisfied with Apple’s response to the antenna issue; 18 percent said they were very or somewhat dissatisfied.

I hope to conduct an iPhone 4 satisfaction study of our own–one which surveys more folks than ChangeWave did. I still won’t attempt to figure out what the teeming masses of iPhone 4 owners think; to me, it’s just as interesting to learn what’s on the mind of atypically serious gadget aficionados like Technologizer readers.

And I think I’ll wait a bit before I field a survey. Antennagate seems to have (mostly) died down, and at this point the most interesting new data would reflect perceptions that owners form based entirely on their own extended hands-on usage.

And just to be completely unscientific: If you’re reading this and own an iPhone 4, just how happy or unhappy are you so far?


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Hans Hirschi Says:

    I've had my iPhone 4 for a week now and I love it. No antenna problems (no matter how I hold it), just a beautiful, fast device that does everything I expect from it and a lot more. I've used it in two countries already and still no issues.

  2. Erin K Says:

    Harry–Thanks for your intriguing article–I didn't realize that people were still so worked up about this!

    I guess to me it seems like satisfied iPhone 4 owners are quietly happy (though they're the majority), while dissatisfied owners are quite vocally unhappy. But hey, people want their complaints heard! (can you blame them??)

    But I do wonder if some of this has to do with user expectations–it seems like mobile tech has come so far, and so quickly that we just expect everything on the market to be flawless anymore (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it drives developers and manufacturers to deliver better services and products). That said, it strikes me that there is definite room for improvement–and it's not just Apple, but, for example, look at all the spam and useless apps in the Android app store–it's time for some industry-wide QA!

    But anyway, to answer your original question, I am a happy owner of the iPhone 4! (and I'm being vocal!)

  3. IcyFog Says:

    Well I wasn't interviewed, but I am very happy with my iPhone 4. Love it, and I have no complaints about it nor AT&T. AT&T's coverage and customer service seem on par with Verizon from my experience.

  4. Rick Bellefond Says:

    I keep holding off on getting an iPhone, which I really want, until I either know whether Verizon is going to carry it or not.

  5. Microsoft CRM Says:

    I know a lot of people who own the new iPhone and it sure seems to me that as a group they are very happy with that product.