For the eighth time in a row, Apple is ranked with the highest customer satisfaction. The iPhone received 849 points out of 1,000, according to J.D. Powers and Associates. HTC ranked second with 790 points and Samsung earned 782 points, below the 783-point survey average.

The iPhone “performs well in all factors, particularly in physical design and ease of operation,” the ratings firm announced Thursday. The company measured smartphones for performance, physical design, features and ease of operation.

Motorola and Nokia rounded out the top-five smartphones, garnering 777 and 763 points respectively. RIM scored just 740 points, while HP ranked last. LG topped the list of traditional, or “feature” cell phones.

The 2012 Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study also declared that Twitter, Facebook and other social media applications “play a critical role in overall smartphone satisfaction.”

Users of mobile gaming and social-networking apps both give smartphones higher satisfaction ratings and spend more money with carriers. Smartphone owners who use social-networking apps have a satisfaction rating of 810, 55 points higher than smartphone users that do not have social-networking apps, the survey found. Additionally, smartphone owners with social-networking apps spend 100 minutes more per week than smartphone owners that don’t use mobile social media.

Mobile gaming follows the same path of high usage, better satisfaction. Smartphone owners who have a mobile game, rank their handset 61 points higher than among smartphone owners that don’t use gaming apps. Smartphone owners with gaming apps spend 81 minutes a week blasting aliens or smashing pigs into buildings.

“As the capabilities of wireless phones and their applications continue to expand, allowing customers to more often use their device, handset manufacturers have an opportunity to shape the customer experience and impact satisfaction with better application integration and social networking options,” said Uma Jha, senior director of mobile operations at J.D. Powers.

The survey also gave makers of smartphones other advice: price matters and malfunctioning phones can seriously hurt customer satisfaction. Price is now the driving force with nearly a quarter of smartphone shoppers.

The survey found 19 percent of customers say price was their primary reason for buying the smartphone they now own. That’s up from 14 percent in 2011. While price is gaining priority, a smartphone’s features aren’t as important to customers as previously. The survey found 47 percent of customers were interested in smartphone features, down from 57 percent a year ago.

Although the percent of free smartphones inched up to 22 percent from 18 percent, more than 40 percent of traditional mobile phones are free. Carriers looking to entice more buyers have pushed the average price of a traditional cell phone to $56, down from $66 a year ago.

But perhaps most telling is how important it is for smartphone makers to sell a device that works. Almost 20 percent of smartphone owners say they experience software or hardware malfunctions. That frustration can chop 90 points from overall customer satisfaction.

And pity the smartphone maker producing phones that crash. The survey found owners of smartphones with software that crashes at least once per week give an average rating of 663 out of 1,000.

What do you think? What makes the iPhone stand out from the smartphone crowd?

  • CollegiateLad

    Build quality. OS execution. Ease of use. No surprises here.

    • No more Obama

      it should be good. hasn’t changed much since 2007

  • Kok Hean

    I am not satisfied with battery life ๐Ÿ˜›

    • You should stop using the iPhone every minute mate.
      I know it’s very addictive… but let him rest a lil bit.. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Jokes apart… iPhone still has one of the best batteries, comparing to other phones. I think they didn’t better because they can’t at the moment, because I believe that Apple would be proud if they could gave us a iPhone battery that could last 10 hours like the iPad.

      • Kok Hean

        It’s probably because I literally have dozens of tweaks installed. And I also have a charging case. It can drain up to 20% of battery with or without usage if I keep it in my pocket, and I think it’s because of the heat.

      • That’s explains much better your issue. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Maybe you should let the charge go to zero until he shutdown, leave him about 3 hours (or more) turned off, and then make a full charge. I know that Lithium Batteries don’t have “memory effect” but sometimes that help a lot. Even Apple gives that advice for Macbook owners.

        And you definitly should check again your JB apps running on the background. The Native iPhone Multi-tasking is way more better than the “full multitasking” available over JB.

      • Kok Hean

        I have Auto App Killer installed. I don’t often background my apps using Backgrounder.

      • That’s great. Do you have a good 3G coverage in your area or your iPhone is always with 3 bars or less? Because that can be the issue too. That makes him always searching for the best signal and drain the battery way more faster.

      • Kok Hean

        The 3G coverage sucks at school D:

  • I’ve always mentioned this before. Android might be the best selling OS out there but iOS/iPhone really satisfy their customers. Old iPhone models by Apple are supported for long periods of time and the quality of the OS and the hardware itself is just excellent. On the other hand, the majority of Android handsets are outdated, supported for maybe a couple months max, and the OS can be quite buggy on many devices (with the exception of some devices, such as the Nexus 7, S3, Note, etc.).

    In the end, since the amount of crappy Android handsets are more than the good ones, you get the high satisfaction from iPhone users and little from Android users. And I think it will eventually come to a point where Android will start losing ground with market share, especially if Apple produces low cost iPhones and they keep the 3GS around.

    • Thorasgard

      I think a 3GS now would be a very bad choice. Apple will likely drop support within a year like they did to the 3G. Admittedly still better support than android gets, but that is the fault of carriers not google or manufacturers.

  • JerseyD

    Do they run this survey every month? I feel like I’ve seen these articles 10+ times and have only been coming to iDB for about 2 years.

    • They are probably articles about satisfaction surveys conducted by different research firms.

    • No more Obama

      i wonder if its a survey of 276 people from silicon valley like last time, that one was ridiculous. or how about the one survey that says 80 percent of people use siri at least once a month. really, one time a month means you are not using siri. but no, they lump one time use together with a fanboy asking if siri loves them every 5 minutes. i want to vomit. brb

  • Yeah I’m really satisfied with Apple products and its customer service. For example, I just got my iPhone 4s sent to Apple in CA for inspection and repair without any fee! All I need to do was calling Apple, told them what my problem was, and they got everything done for me in just about 10 min.