iPhone X customer sat hits 'standout' levels

There's been a lot of angst in the media and some financial circles over how well iPhone X has been performing compared to previous, less expensive, less audacious models. According to a new study, though, customers are happier with Apple's flagship phone than ever before.

Ben Bajarin, writing for tech.pinions:

When it came to overall customer satisfaction, iPhone X owners in our study gave the product an overall 97% customer satisfaction. While that number is impressive, what really stands out when you do customer satisfaction studies is the percentage who say they are very satisfied with the product. Considering you add up the total number of very satisfied, and satisfied, to get your total customer satisfaction number a product can have a high number of satisfied responses and lower number of very satisfied responses and still achieve a high number. The higher the very satisfied responses, the better a product truly is. In our study, 85% of iPhone X owners said they were very satisfied with the product.

Emphasis his.

That number is amongst the highest I've seen in all the customer satisfaction studied we have conducted across a range of technology products. Just to contrast that with the original Apple Watch research with Wristly I was involved in, 66% of Apple Watch owners indicated they were very satisfied with Apple Watch, a product which also ranked a 97% customer satisfaction number in the first Apple Watch study we did.

While tech twitter and tech YouTube amplify complaints to near ear-popping and brain melting levels — and sometimes for good reason — year after year, launch after launch, it's clear that customers don't just like their iPhones... they increasingly love them.

That's the kind of reaction, I think, that may not be impossible for companies that don't own and craft the entire process from silicon to pixel, but would be very hard for any company that couldn't make the resulting product more than the sum of its integrated atoms and bits.

The one sore spot in consumer sentiment is exactly what you'd expect:

I can do a whole post on early adopters opinions of Siri, but since it's on the chart, I just want to make a few points. Firstly, you may think it's odd for us to include Siri in this since it's not a feature unique to iPhone X. While this is true, we included it since it is designed to be a core feature of the iPhone but also for the unique optimizations with on-device performance and machine learning that exist with Siri on iPhone X due to the new processor design. The main point, however, is a reflection of an insight I mentioned earlier that early adopters are more critical than mainstream consumers of technology. This is reflected in this chart but also highlights something important. Just because a demographic may be early tech leading, or even fanatical about Apple, Siri ranking low with this cohort shows that they are also quite pragmatic and ready to criticize when necessary.

Since Apple owns the whole widget, and Siri owns the first assistant slot on the widget, any time iOS is updated or anyone upgrades to a new iPhone, there's an opportunity to re-introduce Siri and, hopefully, make a better next impression. (Especially when and if splashy new features get added.)

Apple seems to be aware Siri is a dull spot on an otherwise shining product experience at this point, especially with HomePod where there's literally no keyboard or multitouch interface to hide behind.

Now let's see what the company can do to fix it.

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Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

17 Comments
  • I'm hanging on to my 6S+ until it dies or doesn't get updates. If 5S get support this year, and 6 years becomes the norm, then that could be a long time. I'm not a fan of the taller X screen. I want wider, if anything. And an X+ sounds dreadfully unergonomic. All that said, everyone I know who has one loves it. I hope I love what I upgrade to. Reports like these give me some cause for optimism.
  • "Now let's see what the company can do to fix it." Going by past history, very little if anything
  • Going by past history of what? Siri? I'm not sure what this crude comment is suggesting, but Apple have made improvements on many things. Siri is a slow-burner, but it is improving.
  • Modern Siri was compared to the original deno and the results were a mixed bag. One could easily argue that it is worse in general. (I had a hard time with it understanding me, but never with capabilities, so I'm on the fence.) https://www.macstories.net/linked/siri-struggles-with-commands-handled-b...
  • Siri might not be the best against it's competitors, but many people use it on a day-to-day basis, including me. But yes, there is always room for improvement
  • Yes, and Siri is like Bixby. It's meant to make life easier on the phone. Use Google if you want more than that.
  • Rene, you spend a lot of time hammering home the point about how deceptive media reporting is when they are critical of Apple...yet here you are with this, "97% of iPhone X customers say they're satisfied with Apple's latest flagship. 85% say 'hold our beer... while we check the VERY box'." They surveyed just under 2000 people with an emphasis on early adopters. That isn't representative of all iPhone X owners as your headline would imply....
  • Not only that, but it's inherently biased towards the "fanboys" (for lack of a better term) that are going to latch onto new features and ignore any shortcomings.
  • How is it biased towards fanboys?
  • Purely based on anecdotal evidence every normal person that’s not a fanboy that has the X that I’ve met absolutely loves the X.
    That being said I know lots of people who did not get the X citing specific criticism.
    So perhaps those who would rate it poorly stayed away from it in the first place.
  • This could be true. Maybe more people are just buying older iPhones. "The iPhone X, Apple’s new flagship phone and heir apparent to the universal design of a smartphone, only accounted for 16% of the company’s smartphone sales so far in 2018, according to estimates (pdf) from analyst Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. The share of all new iPhones sold in the first quarter of 2018 has slid to 60%, down from 78% in 2015, the report stated. The new models include the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus—meaning the old versions of iPhone are selling almost as well as their updated counterparts." https://qz.com/1260811/apples-second-quarter-2018-analyst-expect-poor-ip...
  • You’ve seen “The Waterboy?” If it were about Apple, it’d be starring Rene. All is well. Nothing to see here. Only the evil media skews facts and numbers, not President Tr...um, er, Ritchie.
  • How has Trump skewed anything Mr. Obama?
  • You're right, my bad. He NEVER lies. Ever. All truths. Nothing more. Just like Rene.
  • "iPhone X customer sat hits 'standout' levels" -- that headline didn't make sense the first three times I read it. A customer sat on his phone? I'm beginning to remember why I don't come here very much.
  • Yeah... the lack of proofreading is pretty common around here, i.e. "Emphasis his." The word "satisfaction" should've been spelled out for sure.
  • I'm finding that 97% rather high. I've had mine now for several months and more than a couple of things make it less than satisfactory: FaceID works only somewhere between 60-80% of the time, with quite a few failures on the first attempt to unlock it; touch coordination is equally hit-and-miss (I'm getting a number of "misinterpretation" touches far from where I've actually touched the screen; crashes at least once a week; the notch isn't anything special to copy - it's actually annoying when you're looking more closely at pictures and documents. Frankly, when looking at pictures taken with the camera I'm not all that impressed - zooming in for detail really shows the limitations with muddled pixilation. Funny thing is I find Siri to be adequate, but certainly lacking when it comes to extended searches. The screen is okay - the best piece to me seems to be the sound quality. Sorry, but I'm just not that impressed with it.