According to a newly published survey on customer satisfaction in the United States, Samsung outperforms Apple and Xfinity outperforms all other mobile carriers.
The data comes from the University of Michigan’s American Consumer Satisfaction Index. When the numbers are broken down, it becomes clear which networks and phone manufacturers are on top and which have slipped slightly since last year.
Samsung is the market leader among the major phone brands, with an 81 percent satisfaction rate. Apple, Google, and Motorola are all just below the 80 percent mark. Apple is the only company whose satisfaction score has decreased in the last year. Although it lost only 2% of its ranking from last year, it still lost the top spot.
When individual handsets were analyzed, Samsung claimed the top five spots. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus, Galaxy S10 Plus, and Galaxy S20 Plus all received an 85 percent rating, while the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy A20 received 84 percent and 83 percent, respectively. The highest-end iPhones are tied for sixth place with the Galaxy S10. These included the iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone X, and iPhone XS Max, all of which achieved an impressive 82 percent.
This report makes no mention of more recent phones, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, the Galaxy S21, or the iPhone 12 series. We’ll likely have to wait until next year’s results to learn how well these devices performed. While all three of these phones are highly rated in our best phones guide, our top pick is the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Additionally, the report indicates how satisfied users are with various aspects of the overall smartphone experience. The ease of texting comes in at 85 percent, while phone calls and the weight and size of the phones come in at 84 percent. The least satisfying aspect, while still scoring an 80 percent, is battery life, with audio quality scoring significantly lower at 82 percent.
Satisfaction with US mobile networks
AT&T is the most satisfied mobile network operator in the United States, with a 74 percent satisfaction rate, up 1% from last year. Verizon and T-Mobile come in second and third, respectively, with T-Mobile experiencing a 5% decline in satisfaction. This is the largest decline of any network operator year over year, which the report attributes to T-pending Mobile’s merger with Sprint in 2020. U.S. Cellular is ranked fourth with a 69 percent satisfaction rate.
Verizon reclaims the lead from AT&T in terms of network service quality, scoring 79 percent satisfaction compared to 77 percent. T-Mobile and US Cellular come in third and fourth, respectively, with both seeing slight declines in their scores from last year. Indeed, AT&T was the only one of the four to improve year over year.
When it comes to MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators), the winner is Xfinity Mobile, which has the highest satisfaction rating of any mobile carrier in the report with 78 percent, followed by Cricket, Spectrum, and Metro. These all scored higher than AT&T in terms of customer satisfaction, with the exception of Boost Mobile, which scored only 71%.
Other MVNOs are classified as “value” in the report. Consumer Cellular takes the top spot with 77%, which is 7% lower than its 2020 score. Assurance Wireless is at the bottom of the list, with a 67 percent market share.
When broken down into the various components of the mobile carrier customer experience, the big four operators outperform the virtual networks in distinct areas. While MVNOs make it much easier to understand your bill, the large providers are reportedly superior in terms of mobile app quality and courteous and helpful in-store staff. To no one’s surprise, the lowest-scoring benchmark for all network operators is call center satisfaction.