Consumer Reports: Apple Retail Store is the best place to buy a cellphone

invisibleSHIELD case for iPadAccording to Consumer Reports (June 2010), a survey of almost 11,000 of their online subscribers conducted last year by the Consumer Reports National Research Center showed that those who bought a phone at some retailers unaffiliated with a carrier were at least as satisfied on average as those who bought from the carrier itself. And those who bought online at the carrier’s Web site were generally at least as satisfied as those who bought at one of its stores.

Respondents gave the top-rated Apple Store especially high marks for activation and checkout, “though that store sells only the Apple iPhone,” CR notes. Best Buy, the huge national electronics retailer, received top marks for phone selection and above-average scores for price and customer service. Costco and Walmart stood out for price. Costco was also praised for customer service. Satisfaction with buying from carriers tracked with what Consumer Reports online subscribers have told us in annual surveys about service from carriers. was a standout.

In their report, CR suggests buying your cellphone with service, since service costs the same with or without the phone discount—even though carriers dedicate a portion of each monthly bill to paying the cost of the phone.

Overall satisfaction with buying a cellphone was a bit lower than the levels Consumer Reports’ surveys have found for buying other major electronic devices. Leading complaints were long waits for help, confusing pricing, and a limited selection of phones.

A link to the the full report (available to subscribers only) can be found here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Quincy D.” for the heads up.]


  1. MDN
    Please don’t give hits to these “price is everything” idiots that think that anything Dell is better than a Mac. This group of idiots has been anti- Apple for decades.


  2. These “price is everything idiots” have ranked Apple products pretty well for some time now. And Dell not-so-well. They check a number of things in their compos, including “value” … and that is “value for money spent”, not “cost”.
    FWIW, I see no great value in paying over $1,000 for a Mac when a sub-$500 PC will do the job just fine. Why, given this, do we have 3 $1,000+ Macs in our household? Because a sub-$500 PC won’t do what we need to do.

  3. For those not in-the-know, there are 3 components to the ACTUAL price of anything:

    1) Shelf Price: This is where one dimensional dimwits stop. They can’t comprehend the further two dimensions. Thus their ignorant ‘price is everything’ rants.

    2) Return on Investment: The more efficient the gadget and the longer its effective life, the better the ROI.

    3) Total Cost of Ownership: The less money you have to put into the gadget to keep it effectively working, the better the TCO.

    Where Apple typically tramples the competition is with ROI and TCO. PCs are renowned for having terrible ROI and TCO compared to Macs, for example. There is not one professional study comparing the actual ‘cost’ of Macs and PCs that has not found the Mac to actually be cheaper.

    But this is clearly The One Dimensional Age where vast numbers of people can only think of Left and Right, or Yes and No, or For Us and Against Us, etc. Try getting them to comprehend anything deeper and they start quoting political diatribes at you, which of course are equally One Dimensional. (o_0)

    Good luck enjoying your cheap-ass netbooks kids.

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