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.

  • I bet some part of that survey was made inside Samesung too.

    Because, they are happy iPhone users too.

    • MarcPhilippeB

      I bet half of the Samsung employees have iPhones. Or at least secretly fancy it.

  • MHCsk


  • Gorgonphone

    Yup cause iphone is still the beat

  • Yash Gorana

    This is like knifing a person in Counter-Strike 😀

  • Falk M.

    Why is Tim Cook holding that iPad upside down?

    • kaliente

      Why not? U can use iPad in every position, because all UI will autorotate 😉 Another thing is, that it looks stupid

  • Kurt

    NOBODY has an iPhone in South Korea anymore! Write an article about that. It used to be the most popular phone. Everyone had it. Now I never see an iPhone. It’s been free here since December because no one wants it.

    • John Sklikas

      Huh? Here in the Netherlands, the iPhone isn’t as popular as it was, sure, but this doesn’t mean I can’t see it anymore. Most people have an iPhone, then slightly less is the S3 and guess what? I don’t know a single person with an S4 and I belong to the senior year (from September) of an 1800 people school (year 7-13) and none has the S4, nobody cares about hover view or however this feature is called. On the other hand, when the 5 came out, I could see 3% having it and now, I even see year 7s (13 year olds with a 5). And the free isn’t an index for declining sales, the S3 as I said is popular, but it is still offered as a free and the S4 by some carriers too (and this is an index because the S3 is also free, so seeing an S4 being free only shows that people don’t care about it). Having said that, I haven’t seen a single offer for a free iPhone 5, but if you find it, let me know 😉

      • Kurt

        In USA iPhone is extremely popular. But not here, and this article is about Korea. But I guess it makes sense as only die hard iPhone fans have an iPhone anymore, and they obviously are very satisfied with the iPhone. Before I would count all the iphones around me on the subway. It would be 8 out of 10. EVERYONE had an iPhone. But now, I almost never see it. It’s such an unpopular phone. My carrier has called twice calling offering me a free iphone and early upgrade 9 or 10months before my contract was up. Because of how unpopular iPhone 5 is now.

      • John Sklikas

        Oh yeah, for Korea it makes sense, I thought you were talking in general in the beginning so I was like “What?”.

      • Kurt

        I heard the same happened in Japan. I wonder what phone is most popular there. Perhaps sony’s Xperia? that is a gorgeous phone. They took the idea for the glass back and it looks great. I wish they would make an iPad with a glass back. I hate metal. It feels nice and all, but you need to put a case on it as it scratches so easily. Glass is stronger than metal (which is why you can sharpen and hone a knife with glass.)

      • John Sklikas

        Well yeah, but glass has an issue, it is resisant to scratch and all that jazz but, it is susceptible to break, still remember seeing an iPhone 4 back side being completely broken because of the glass coating. Having said that, if I didn’t prefer the iPhone, I would choose HTC One, or the Xperia, really nice devices, but not the S4, or S3, they are really large and plasticky, especially the S4, I mean why would anyone need 5 inches in a phone? :O I find the 4 of my iPhone 5 perfect…

      • Kurt

        iPhone 4/4S’s back only cost 8 bucks or so to be as a replacement and it only takes a min to replace. For me, this is the best design for a phone.

        I prefer plastic over metal. Metal is my 3rd choice for a phone. but second choice in a tablet. For a phone, you really ought to be able to take the battery out and swap it with a fully charged one. That’s one reason I won’t buy an iPhone again. Battery is just terrible.

      • John Sklikas

        I’ve heard this point a lot, but I’ve never realised it personally. I mean check my battery life in this link d[dot]pr/i/XlpM and you will see. Now the metal – non metal is all a matter of preference after all and I find the metal to feel nicer on the hand than glass, but this might be just me 🙂

      • Kurt

        Thanks for the pic…My iPhone normally last all day. But the problem is, tha”t play games on it. Such as 9mm, Gangstar, 6 Guns. If I do, the battery will die in no time. If you play light games/apps then it can last all day. But if you are going to watch videos and make some calls and normal use, its not really able to. I feel bad for those who have the 4S that only makes it half the day with minimal use. My friend has the “batterygate” 4S, she should be able to get a new phone. Metal definitely feels great on the hands. But for me, looks are more important than feel. Scratches look terrible and make the phone looks beat up. I hated my iPod Touch as it had so many scratches. And a rubber/plastic case was not an option. 3Gs was plastic so I put a case on that since it also scratches so easily and you can’t replace the backing, not by myself anyway. With my 4S I don’t use a case and it looks stunning. No scratches. Just a couple tiny scratches on the metal which when I say is tiny, I mean tiny!

    • AndresQuintana

      Pretty much the only market where the iPhone is still popular is the US i still see people rocking it like it’s the thing to have………US has always been behind the curve…….

  • Chindavon

    Samsung rocks. We are number 1!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  • Dominik Odobašić

    I bet those three people are pretty satisfied with their sub-par iPhones.

    • Kurt

      Only people I know who still have the iPhone are die hard Apple fans. I used to see 10 people on the subway with their phones out and 8 of them would be iPhones. Now, I am usually the only one with an iPhone. I actually feel embarrassed to have it as it’s so inferior to S3/S4/Note 2 etc. Amazing how quickly iPhone has been dropped as the most popular phone here.