Happiness is juicy Apple bite

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South African mobile phone users have voted Apple iPhone as their handset of choice, a preference followed closely by Huawei and Samsung.

IT’S YOUR CALL: Daily Dispatch multimedia reporter Gugu Phandle shows the three most popular mobile phone brands Picture: ALAN EASON

The statistics, which were provided by the 2017 South African Customer Satisfaction Index (Sacsi) for Mobile Handsets – a survey conducted by research company Consulta, showed Apple scoring 84.

Huawei scored 81.3, with Samsung coming third with a score of 80.4.

Other handset manufacturers, such as Sony, BlackBerry and LG, saw an overall decline in customer satisfaction numbers.

Now in its fifth year, the survey was conducted among 1405 randomly selected mobile phone users who gave their overall product satisfaction result out of 100.

The measurement also includes a customer expectations index, perceived quality index and a perceived value index.

Consulting chief executive Adré Schreuder said Apple’s brand perception across a variety of devices – tablets, laptops and watches – has contributed to customers viewing it as a high-quality brand that meets their needs in a reliable way.

“However, Huawei is looking to firmly establish its reputation as a premium product as it increases its service and maintenance footprint in South Africa,” she said.

“Although Apple and Samsung have maintained their dominance in the minds of their customers, Huawei has made strong inroads to grow its market share since last year. While the Chinese brand offers a high-quality smartphone at a more affordable price, it’s moved beyond the focus on display and camera quality to position itself as a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) capability.”

Despite this, technology analyst Arthur Goldstuck, who is also the managing director of technology research company World Wide Worx, said consumers generally choose a phone based on the screen and camera quality.

According to Goldstuck, the feel of the phone and the overall look also play a role, followed by the phone’s features.

“Apple phones are generally not too complicated to use and are classified as user-friendly. The cameras are also really good. That’s why they are so popular,” he said.

“But unfortunately the same positives can also be used as negatives against them.

“Some of the apps can be a bit complicated to use, the battery life can be a bit of a problem and Apple customers are forced to sacrifice the big screen in favour of all the features the phones have,” Goldstuck said.

“While Apple customers remain the most loyal, the survey revealed that their biggest complaints were about the time taken to download software updates, data usage and service quality [repairs],” Schreuder said, adding that the overall percentage of complaints across the mobile phone brands decreased from last year.

“The problems reported shifted from being mainly about a handset’s battery life, to being about data usage and issues with software updates. Data usage complaints include data disappearing quickly or making use of out-of-bundle rates resulting in higher charges.

“Given that these issues arise out of network providers’ actions rather than out of device quality, the research suggests that network providers should be addressing these concerns, rather than the handset manufacturers.” — zisandan@dispatch.co.za

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