Of smartphone owners, iPhone users are the most satisfied

ChangeWave survey shows Android devices are close behind the iPhone

Apple's iPhone came out on top in terms of customer satisfaction compared with other smartphones, according to a survey of 1,009 consumers who bought smartphones in the past six months.

But Motorola phones running the Android operating system, including the Motorola Droid, came in a close second in the survey conducted by ChangeWave Research.

Seventy-seven percent of iPhone customers polled said they were very satisfied with their purchase, ahead of owners of Motorola smartphones, with 64%. Motorola's second-place finish puts it well above the industry average for recent purchasers, ChangeWave said Wednesday.

In terms of mobile operating systems, the iPhone also finished on top, with 71% saying they were very satisfied customers. The Android was a close second, with 67% very satisfied. The Palm Web OS came in third, with 57% of Palm users saying they were very satisfied. Research In Motion's operating system for the BlackBerry finished "well behind the three industry leaders," at 37%, but ahead of Windows Mobile, which was 24%, ChangeWave wrote.

HTC devices finished third in customer satisfaction, with 51% of owners very satisfied, while BlackBerry devices finished fourth, with 46%. Palm devices were fifth, with 45%, followed by LG at 40% and Samsung at 35%.

Motorola's Droid is driving the high satisfaction levels for Motorola, with 69% of Droid buyers saying they were very satisfied with the new Droid running on Android, compared with 50% for all other Motorola models, ChangeWave said.

For HTC models, 68% of HTC Hero customers surveyed said they were very satisfied, ahead of the HTC Droid Eris with 50% and the HTC Touch with 38%.

The ChangeWave survey, conducted April 21 through May 2, did not include results for the HTC Droid Incredible, which hit stores April 29. The Tour got the highest "very satisfied" rating of BlackBerry phones, with 56%, beating out the Bold (48%) and the Storm (45%).

ChangeWave also found that iPhone owners' biggest dislike was AT&T as its service provider, at 22%, ahead of their dislike of the battery life (19%) and lack of multitasking (11%). For Motorola, the biggest dislike was battery life, at 14%.

ChangeWave also saw a surge of interest in Android devices in a survey of 4,000 potential smartphone buyers that it conducted in December.

ChangeWave also has studied AT&T's role as the exclusive wireless carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., noting in early May that more than half of Verizon Wireless subscribers surveyed said they would buy an iPhone if it were available with Verizon.

In the latest survey, 32% of smartphone owners said they would have purchased the iPhone instead of the phone they did purchase, if it were available from their carrier. Palm smartphone owners showed the strongest interest in buying the iPhone, followed by Motorola buyers.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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