Samsung Scored 18 Stars While Apple Did 22 In J.D. Power Survey, Yet It Beat Apple? [u]


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Yesterday when J.D. Power released the numbers for its latest U.S. tablet satisfaction study, claiming that Samsung ranks highest in owner satisfaction with tablet devices in the United States, majority of editors and reporters, including myself, highlighted Samsung’s least expected victory over Apple in their breaking news articles. However, some skeptical reporters like Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt found out that J.D. Power appears to have seriously messed up its survey results, as Apple took home 22 gold stars and Samsung took home 18 (see chart above), and yet it rated the later higher than Apple in “overall satisfaction”.

The survey highlights that Samsung ranks No. 1 with a score of 835, and is the only manufacturer to improve across all five factors since the previous reporting period in April 2013. But in reality, Apple did better than Samsung in four out of five of those categories, scoring the maximum five stars in performance, ease of use, physical design and tablet features.

“The only category that Samsung beat Apple in was (duh) cost. And cost, according to Power’s press release, counts for at most 16% of the total score.

Bottom line: Apple took home 22 gold stars. Samsung took home 18. And then, for reasons known only to itself, J.D. Power and Associates put out a press release under the headline: Samsung Ranks Highest in Owner Satisfaction with Tablet Devices.” I’m sure we’ll hear an explanation from J.D. Power pretty soon and once we do, we’ll update you right away. Stay tuned!

[UPDATE] J.D. Power issues an explanation:

As expected, J.D. Power’s senior director of telecommunications services Kirk Parsons, has responded to Philip Elmer-Dewitt’srequest to explain the puzzling numbers of its tablet survey, who said, “It’s very simple, it’s just math.”


Turns out the only figures that count “as far as J.D. Power is concerned”, are the ones illustrated in its press release suggesting Samsung edged Apple by two points, 835 to 833. But the problem comes in once it uses “Power Circles” to communicate the results to consumers.


“Those gold circles are derived from same tablet survey, but they don’t reflect the original 0 to 1,000 scale. Rather, they show where each company’s products stand relative to its competitors — “among the best,” “about average,” etc. This system has worked pretty well over the years. But from time to time, signals get crossed: the Power Circles say one thing and the overall rating says another, as they do in the case of Apple’s iPads and Samsung’s tablets. How can that happen? Parsons gives an example, stressing that these are not the real numbers:

Say Apple in four of the categories had a 10 point lead over Samsung — for a total of 40 points. But if Samsung had a big enough lead in that fifth category — say 50 points — that might be enough to push it over the top.”

As Elmer-Dewitt puts it so eloquently, “if cost is the criterion by which Samsung edged out Apple — trumping such factors as ease of use and performance — is “satisfied” really the best way to describe how those 3,375 survey participants feel about their tablets?”


  • Hidden

    Ahh there it is, I knew I was dreaming, lol usman so predictable!

  • Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

  • Erik Kappel

    I figured something was fishy when the news broke about this. Guess I was right. Price is a big deal for sure, but in terms of device quality, seems Apple takes the prize. I’ll say it again though, charging 100$ for each capacity upgrade (16gb-32gb…) is a joke nowadays. Maybe JD Power is trying to make that point to Apple. Is so, good on them. Premium price is fine, but extortative pricing over # of GBs is just not cool.

  • Sophie

    Samsung was known to fake scores; I guess they did it again.

  • Shamesung strikes again.

  • iFan

    Don’t cry over this obvious loss ifans. Samsung tablet market is rising. Its sad that you can’t see the future is android lol. As a previous ifan told me I give apple 3 years…. Lower scores its just the beginning.

    To the moderator. please delete the part below. You are probably not going to post this as you like to keep your site bias. That only shows me that I have succeeded in making a valid argument which will be posted everywhere else….so don’t worry .. :))

  • Your post has been approved. Also, we are going to give you a medal for feeling special today.

  • Chrome262

    Since they own 80% of the market you would hope that crapdroid could gain more. But then again windows might do better.

  • Jesse James


  • 1His_Nibs1

    Gary, shouldn’t you have spelled it Shamsung?

  • wah_gee

    Pricing will be Apple’s issue moving forward. Since the passing away of Jobs, Apple is back with the pack, so to speak because their products don’t seem to be as innovative. The WOW factor seems to have been lost, unless I’m missing something here (i.e., fingerprint sensor). I personally don’t mind spending $ for a product truly innovative, but if pricing is based on GB and not speed and features like the MacBooks, iMacs, then it’s an uphill battle moving forward. Apple got away with the price differential on GB in the past. Not now. People don’t have much income at their disposal, thus like it or not, the Android tablets make good sense for these people. Just my 2 cents.

  • frank

    hush ya crapple lovers lol

  • iFan’s sister

    Wah wah, try again fandroid. Y’all so self conscious with your device of choice you need to hack down iPhone users to cover up your shame.

    One day you’ll be able to afford an iPhone. Just save up enough of your welfare checks.


  • frank

    I have been with apple since the launch of the iPhone3. owned everything from the shuffle to ipods, apple TV and every iphone except the 5 and currently own an ipad mini. (jailbroke every device cause they all lacked features Samsung already had available) Upon selling my iphone 4S I jumped into the android market and I’m overwhelmingly impressed Android. Samsung’s innovation is far superior than that of IOs teams’. These days I strongly believe people buy Apple products solely to have the Apple product name. just saying…

  • Dave

    Jokes on you and your over price Iphone lol. Its sad that people are lemmings lol.

  • JollyJim

    With your way of thinking…do you drive a Hyundai or Kia? I hear they have fantastic cars for an even better price.

  • JollyJim

    Why are you here again? What phone do you have, Davey boy?

  • frank

    haha nice 🙂 actually I drive an American made automobile… Like Apple products, HOW does that help Canadians? lol Oh wait… I heard at least many Canadian companies manufacture and supply parts for the Hyundai’s and Kias and various other auto manufactures.

  • Farids

    Android is the best. Android is the greatest. Android Fans, ah iFans are the best. They only can’t do one thing in the world: they can’t count the rating stars!!!