You’ve seen Samsung go head-to-head with Apple (and Motorola) in US smartphone shipments, virtually all recent (and semi-recent) iPhone models surpass the latest Galaxy high-enders in global popularity, and ranked the top three wireless service providers (and again) -ranked) from the point of view of speed and availability of 5G.
Enter the 25-year American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a fairly self-explanatory and widely respected national economic indicator that, in its latest edition, is based on interviews with more than 23,000 randomly selected people across the country, via email contacted between April 2021 and March 2022.
Samsung, Apple and… LG (?!?) are the winners of the smartphone brand
While Samsung and Apple share the lead in the hierarchy of mobile phone manufacturers, with an identical ACSI average of 80 points out of a maximum of 100, LG is second in the list of cheap mobile phone models from three years ago.
Believe it or not, the Aristo 3’s loyal owners remain more satisfied with their purchase than those who use significantly newer and/or more expensive phones, such as the iPhone 11 Pro Max (!), Galaxy S20 (!!), or second-generation iPhone SE (!!!!).
Shockingly, not a single Galaxy S21 family member made this year’s top 15, although it’s certainly worth pointing out that the same is true of Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup. Rather than what is conventionally considered the best phones out there, the ACSI card features old underdogs like the HTC U12+ and… newer underdogs like the Galaxy A20 or A21.
That may seem bizarre until you consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, “regular” people don’t care as much as you think about the latest processors, best cameras, and smoothest screens.
Of course, LG can’t quite compete with joint brand winners Apple and Samsung when it comes to overall customer satisfaction, and neither can Motorola and ‘other’ smartphone vendors.
The carrier champion is… who?!
If you’re unfamiliar with Consumer Cellular, the latest ACSI score of 78 suggests you might want to change that, especially if you’re not very happy with your current “big three” cellular network operator of choice.
Of those three, T-Mobile has managed to come back for both Verizon and AT&T, which now equal a customer satisfaction score of 73 that pales in comparison to the averages of everyone from Consumer Cellular to Straight Talk Wireless, Tracfone, Cricket Wireless and Xfinity Mobile.
For pretty obvious reasons, it’s not entirely fair to compare all these big and small players in the wireless industry, which is why they’re actually split into three different categories, dominated by Consumer Cellular, Optimum Mobile (who?) whose last stands at a not-too-impressive total of 74 points, which is nevertheless higher than last year’s 71.
Perhaps more interestingly, the above 23,000+ surveys are also used to evaluate overall “network quality” based on how users view things like call clarity, call reliability, network coverage, and data speeds.
Surprisingly or not, Verizon comes out on top in this rating, trailing AT&T by one point, while T-Mobile falls behind in third, surpassing only US Cellular.