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JD Power: poor LTE battery hurting Android rating vs. iPhone

updated 11:35 am EDT, Thu March 15, 2012

JD Power sees early 4G hurting Android makers

The rush to have 4G for its own sake has cost Android phone designers in terms of users' "happiness" with their devices, JD Power found in its first phone satisfaction study of 2012. Those who had LTE devices, almost all of them Android, gave noticeably lower scores to battery life, at 6.1 out of 10 on average versus 6.7 for those on 3G. The added speed ended up itself compounding the problem, since they used their devices more often and cut the battery life short that much sooner.

That impact directly led to loyalty problems. A quarter of 4G phone owners gave their battery a high score and said they would definitely support the phone designer again, but among those who gave even good-but-imperfect scores, just 13 percent planned to stay loyal.

The dissatisfaction appeared to have played at least slightly into the overall satisfaction ranks. Apple had its seventh consecutive lead of the ranks, as the iPhone scored slightly higher at 839 points. HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and LG were all down a few points at respective scores of 798, 769, 758, and 733. They and noticeably lower scores for Nokia, Palm (HP), and RIM helped drag the average down to 774, once again leaving Apple and HTC on top.

Although the iPhone 4S has been docked for shorter than usual battery, its performance has still typically been better than first-generation LTE phones like the HTC Thunderbolt or Motororla Droid RAZR. As they currently need a dedicated 4G chip and are on more thinly spread networks, they consume much more power and can in some cases last just four or five hours before they need a charge.

JD Power didn't have a direct explanation for the iPhone's remaining on top, although it noted that performance, the main influence for 35 percent of users, was only one of the important factors. Apple's historical strong point, ease of use, was next up at 24 percent, followed by features (21 percent) and design (20).

By Electronista Staff


  1. davlab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006


    Above average?

    If the smartphone Industry Average is 774, how did Samsung and Motorola get an above average rating when they are below that number?

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