updated 03:39 pm EDT, Thu October 31, 2013
Samsung tablets take top spot in J.D. Power study
Samsung tablets have hopped ahead of Apple's iPad line in terms of customer satisfaction, according to the latest study from J.D. Power. Tablets from the South Korean tech giant grabbed the top spot in the J.D. Power's second installation of tablet ratings for 2013, winning overall and ending Apple's run of nine straight J.D. Power awards between both the iPad and the iPhone. Apple's devices tended to score higher than Samsung's in most categories, but their premium cost appears to have played a major role in Samsung slipping ahead.
The new study rated customer satisfaction on a 1,000-point scale, and most tablets scored rather high. Samsung's overall score of 835, though, was just barely enough to move past Apple at 833. Close behind were devices from Amazon and Asus, scoring 826 and 821 respectively. Devices from Acer lagged well below the study average of 821, scoring only 781.
The study noted that Samsung's tablets saw improvements in all five study metrics - performance, ease of use, physical design, features, and cost - since previous reporting in April 2013. In particular, Samsung saw improvement in terms of cost, scoring significantly higher than in the last reporting period. Apple's premium prices, though, gave it the lowest score among major manufacturers in the cost metric, despite its high scores in every other metric.
The new customer satisfaction figures illustrate the growing competition in the tablet segment, which Apple CEO Tim Cook has called "the mother of all markets." Apple still leads that market in terms of sales, and likely profit, but Samsung and others are making strides and trying to close the gap. The latest figures from IHS indicate that Apple's iPad devices now account for 30 percent of total tablet shipments, down 12.7 percentage points over the last 12 months. Samsung, meanwhile, added 8.1 points to its share, holding 22.2 percent of the tablet market in the third quarter of this year.