PC Satisfaction: Apple and Samsung Vie for Top Slot

Apple personal computer and tablet owners have a long track record of loving their chosen product, checking in with a customer satisfaction rating of 84 for 2016 on the ACSI’s 100-point scale. While Apple’s ACSI leadership in the personal computer industry is well established, Samsung surges 6% to second place, just a point below Apple this year.

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The tight race between Apple and Samsung mirrors the two companies’ battle in the cell phone industry. As reported by the ACSI previously, Apple and Samsung were deadlocked for customer satisfaction in 2015 and remain just a point apart in 2016 (81 and 80, respectively). The caveat for smartphone satisfaction, however, is that Samsung’s current score of 80 reflects customer evaluations from March, well before the release and disastrous battery failures and fires of its Galaxy Note7. The first Note7 recall in September was followed by a second recall that included all replacement phones, prompting Samsung to permanently halt production and sales of the Note7. In 2017, Samsung will likely take a major hit in customer satisfaction for its product meltdown, much like Toyota did when it recalled millions of cars starting in 2009 due to danger of sudden acceleration.

In terms of the personal computer market, smartphones pose a threat to PC sales as tablets have not been the longer-term solution for mobility that the industry may once have envisioned. Interestingly, Apple and Samsung have very different strategies regarding the future of tablets. Apple is targeting business customers on the go with laptop-like features for its iPad, while Samsung tablets occupy their own space as devices for entertainment and browsing, rather than laptop replacements. The number-three PC manufacturer for satisfaction in 2016 is Amazon, another maker of tablets. At 80, Amazon falls short of the PC scores turned in by Apple and Samsung, but it easily matches their most recent scores in the cell phone segment.

For the overall PC industry, customer satisfaction improves 1.3% to 78, driven by better scores for tablets and laptops. Customer satisfaction for desktop computers remains unchanged year-over-year at 81, ahead of both tablets (+4% to 78) and laptops (+3% to 77). While this could be a good sign for traditional PCs, there is also the possibility that a shrinking customer base is leaning toward the more loyal desktop users. Moreover, two of the three leaders this year—Samsung and Amazon—specialize in tablets and other mobile devices, not traditional PCs.

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ACSI Household Appliance and Electronics Report 2016 »

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Domestic Automakers Catching Up to Foreign-Made Vehicles

ACSI annual reporting shows the automobile industry bouncing back after three years of declining customer satisfaction. The overall industry is up 3.8% to 82 on ACSI’s 100-point scale, with scores tightening between domestic and international manufacturers.

While foreign-made autos have long held the customer satisfaction advantage, domestics are catching up, rising to 81 overall compared with Europe and Asian carmakers at 82.

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2016-auto-dom-2016-bar Among domestic automakers, Ford keeps its lead, stepping up to 84, followed by GM (81) and Fiat Chrysler (78). Although U.S. auto sales were down in August, with signs that demand may have peaked, the good news for Detroit is that higher levels of customer satisfaction will make American autos more competitive.

Luxury cars have dominated the driver satisfaction rankings for years, but the industry’s top tier is now evenly split between mass market and luxury vehicles. Brand exclusivity may no longer be enough for luxury plates if consumers are finding little difference between premium and lower-priced vehicles. Across the top 10 plates for customer satisfaction, Ford’s Lincoln leads at 87, with Honda at 86. German luxury plate BMW is deadlocked with Toyota-branded vehicles at 85, while GMC and Subaru lock horns with upscale Infiniti and Lexus (all 84).

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The ACSI Automobile Report 2016 was released in August. View complete report »

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ACSI Restaurant Recap: Fast Food Garners Better Ratings

The fast food experience is on the upswing with consumers in 2016, as higher quality drives improving scores for the industry.

ACSI Restaurant Report 2016 »

Limited-Service Restaurant Scores »

Full-Service Restaurant Scores »

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ACSI Final Poll Has Clinton Up 7 Points Over Trump

ACSI Presidential Election Survey: October 31 to November 3, 2016

As a tumultuous election season draws to a close, ACSI’s latest polling shows the two presidential candidates in positions that vary little from initial surveys conducted early August. With just days to go before November 8, Democrat Hillary Clinton’s projected voter share stands at 48% to Republican Donald Trump’s 41%. This final popular vote count is closely aligned with ACSI’s inaugural survey projection of Clinton 49% and Trump 39%.

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Over the course of the survey cycle, Clinton consistently has shown an advantage over Trump, with the narrowest spread occurring just after Labor Day (5 points). In the election’s final week, the gap is 7 points in Clinton’s favor.

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The ACSI survey characterizes supporters as “strong” or “weak” depending on the gap in both satisfaction and expectations for each of the candidates. In the polling conducted between October 31 and November 3, 2016, Clinton loses some strong support, down 4 points to 35%, while Trump shows a slight uptick to 29%. For weak support, both candidates gain 2 points but remain nearly deadlocked at 13% (Clinton) and 12% (Trump). Undecideds increase for a second week to 12%.

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The final demographic breakdowns of voter share have Clinton ahead in nearly every age, gender, and ethnic category. Consistent with most prior weeks of polling, Trump carries the advantage among older voters and those with less than a college degree.

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The ACSI surveyed 1,543 registered voters nationwide from October 31 to November 3, 2016, for a total of 15,220 since polling began on August 1, 2016. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points for voter share.

Press Release: Final ACSI Popular Vote Prediction — Clinton 48%, Trump 41%  »