Tim Cook holds iPad (with Katie Cotton, Jacqui Cheng)

There’s nothing like winning over your competitor’s hometown audience. Apple, accustomed to topping nearly every customer satisfaction survey, must take particular pleasure in being named best by smartphone owners in South Korea, home of rival Samsung.

The survey found even a year after purchase, iPhone owners were more satisfied overall, as well as happy with the repair experience. Customer satisfaction is an often-cited metric by Apple CEO Tim Cook, a quality in which some see him well-suited…

In a survey spanning one year, Apple received a 52 percent after-sale customer satisfaction rating. That compares to 50 percent customer satisfaction for Samsung and 46 percent for LG. The ratings come from Quality Insights report on 44,168 South Korean smartphone owners.

Perhaps the best award given Apple is the likely red faces of Samsung executives as the smartphone which the company has poured millions of dollars into defeating is picked by the Galaxy maker’s hometown crowd.

The survey details were cited by Naver and widely distributed via Google’s Translate service. However, a more easily-digestible overview is available at Apple Insider.

Apple’s iPhone has won nine consecutive JD Power and Associates customer satisfaction awards. A similar winning streak seems in the making for the iPad. Earlier this year JD Power and Associates named Apple’s iPad winner for tablet customer satisfaction for the second time.

The tablet was given five out of five stars, 836 points out of a potential 1,000. In tablet category, Samsung came in second with 822 points.

JD Power iPhone 201303

Under the leadership of Apple CEO Tim Cook, customer satisfaction is increasingly taking center stage.

So much so that Cook will often refer to Apple winning the customer satisfaction war, seeming to publicly use the sales and marketing lingo once reserved for boardroom discussions.

However, as Apple enters an era of tighter profit margins, lower-priced products and greater competition, keeping an eye on customer satisfaction can mean the difference of consumers purchasing new devices and developers producing buzz-worthy apps.

Since Cook originated from the nuts-and-bolts area where customer satisfaction is directly tied to sales, Apple’s current CEO seems to perfect pick to lead the company into a post-Steve Jobs era.