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iPhone stroking keeps us satisfied the most, say fanbois

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The latest JD Power poll once again puts Apple's iPhone well ahead of the competition in terms of customer satisfaction, and nailed crappy 4G smartphone battery life as punters' biggest bugbear.

The iPhone topped out the survey, scoring 839 on a thousand-point scale compared to HTC's 798 and Samsung's 769. Palm trailed in at 697 but Nokia only managed a shade more than that at 702 - we don't know if those Nokia smartphones were Symbian or Windows Phone, which could be significant.

JD Power does make the point that it was "4G" handsets that disappointed most as the faster connectivity drained the juice quickly enough to annoy. The results are slightly skewed by the US insistence on calling HSPA+ "4G", but at the time of the survey (July-December last year) Apple wasn't even claiming to have a 4G handset so Cupertino's competitors take some flak for that. JD Power reckons manufacturers quick to get into 4G could regret it; those surveyed reckon it’s the battery life that makes them stick with a brand.

The fact that Apple users are smug as an Anonymous spokesman shouldn't be terribly surprising, but the survey did involve questioning more than 7,000 smartphone users so one has to accept that they're not all trying to justify the amount they paid for their iDevices.

And they do pay a lot: UK device insurance outfit ProtectYourBubble.com went along and quizzed those queuing for the new iPad this morning. Apparently the average queuer was packing £1,217 worth of electronics on them, and a third of the 544 people questioned said they would buy "anything and everything" made by Apple. More worryingly, 31 per cent said they were particularly looking forward to using the 4G networking on the iPad - despite the fact that they will never be able to do so in the UK.

Customers like this just don't come out of nowhere; some sales might be due to branding and image, but ultimately the iPhone must be quite a nice product to gain that kind of loyalty. JD Power is just putting numbers to the facts we already know. ®

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