Survey: Apple iPhone 4 owners report fewer dropped calls than iPhone 3GS owners

“A July ChangeWave survey has taken an in-depth look at the reactions and opinions of 213 Apple iPhone 4 owners,” Jean Crumrine, Paul Carton and Mike Wrobel report for ChangeWave.

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“The initial satisfaction ratings for the iPhone 4 show a high degree of customer approval – with 72% of owners saying they’re Very Satisfied and 21% Somewhat Satisfied with their new phone,” Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report:

“One-in-three iPhone 4 owners say the model Exceeds their expectations and 50% say it Meets expectations – which is also a bit less positive than the findings of our iPhone 3GS survey,” Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report, “But then again, the 3GS wasn’t met with a firestorm of controversy upon its launch.”

Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report, “We asked owners about the specific features they like best and dislike most about their new iPhone 4.”

“The biggest Achilles’ Heel for the iPhone 4 remains AT&T, with 27% of owners saying they don’t like the Requirement to Use AT&T’s Network and 24% disliking the Coverage/ Speed/ Quality of AT&T’s 3G Network,” Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report, “Back in 2009, the number one dislike among iPhone 3GS owners was Short Battery Life (41%). In a major improvement, only 15% of iPhone 4 owners now say short battery life is what they dislike most.”

Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report, “When we took a closer look at the issue of reception and dropped calls we found some surprising results… Nearly two-thirds reported they Haven’t Experienced Any Problem and another 14% reported it Wasn’t Much of a Problem. However one-in-five did report it was Somewhat of a Problem (14%) or a Very Big Problem (7%).

“In his July press conference, Steve Jobs offered a free case to all those who purchase their iPhone 4 before the end of September. According to Apple and other sources, this eliminates the antenna issue,” Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report. “When we asked iPhone 4 owners whether they were satisfied with Apple’s proposed solution, nearly three-in-four (73%) reported they were Very or Somewhat Satisfied. But again, in an emerging pattern, almost one-in-five respondents (18%) reported they were still Very or Somewhat Unsatisfied with the Apple solution.”

Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report, “Below is a look at the dropped call rating for Verizon vs. AT&T over our last eight ChangeWave Wireless Providers surveys. Since September 2008, Verizon’s rating has improved slightly while AT&T’s has continued to worsen.”

Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report, “Switching to the current survey, we’ve taken a close-up look at the dropped call rating among iPhone 4 owners and compared it to the dropped call rating for iPhone 3GS owners from a June 2010 ChangeWave survey.”

“In a surprising finding, iPhone 4 owners reported a better dropped call rating (5.2%) than their 3GS counterparts (6.3%),” Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report. “In other words, despite the hoopla surrounding the antenna issue, in actuality iPhone 4 owners report experiencing slightly fewer dropped calls on the average than do iPhone 3GS owners.”

Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report, “Despite the waves of controversy that surrounded the iPhone 4 within days of its launch, the latest Apple release is outperforming almost every other smart phone in the industry in terms of overall customer satisfaction and meeting owners’ expectations. While one-in-five iPhone 4 owners do say the antenna has caused them problems, by an overwhelming margin they are satisfied with Apple’s solution. And in reality, iPhone 4 owners report experiencing fewer dropped calls than do iPhone 3GS owners.”

“That said, while the iPhone 4 has been very well received, its owner ratings aren’t as high as the numbers we saw at a similar point in time for the 3GS launch,” Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report. “This is likely attributable to the fact that one-in-five iPhone 4 owners appear to have been at least somewhat negatively affected by the phone’s reception and antenna issues and the ensuing drumbeat of controversy.”

Crumrine, Carton and Wrobel report, “But the good news for Apple is that these issues appear to be clearing up for good – and if they do, this survey shows there is a high likelihood the iPhone 4’s customer satisfaction levels could end up equaling or surpassing those of the 3GS.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Sorry, 213 people surveyed is nowhere near enough to be a valid statistical sample size. 213 out of 3+ millions iPhone 4 owners? Come on. The limited results look promising, but an in-depth analysis on that small of a number is just stupid.

  2. So the two biggest dislikes, and 4 out of 7, have to do with ATT? Lol. The end of that exclusivity can’t come soon enough for Apple.

    The 4th chart displaying the contrast in dropped calls between ATT and Verizon says it all.

    Release us from these shackles, Steve (or make the 4thGen iPod touch entirely equal with the iPhone 4 feature for feature, but we know that ain’t happening).

  3. i may be in the minority (at least verbally), but i just switched to at&t and the iphone last week and i couldn’t be happier with both. the phone is great for the obvious reasons, but the at&t service has been better than vzw was. also, i couldn’t justify paying the old $30 price for the data plan when i’m already paying $30 for internet at home. at&t’s decision to offer the $15 data plan allowed me to switch. the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side” certainly applies to all the at&t complaining. be careful with all you are wishing for with vzw, you might just get it!!

  4. Until AT&T builds out the network to handle the incredible 5000% increase in volume, dropped calls are a reality on busy GSM cell sites – like in big cities (NY, LA, SF, DC, etc).

    I personally have had great luck with AT&T with all my phones and iPhones so far. The new iPhone 4 works great, and no dropped calls on my end.

  5. Change it to the following and they have it right…

    “…one-in-five iPhone 4 owners appear to have been at least somewhat negatively affected by the [overhyped] drumbeat of controversy.”

    It will become more and more difficult for Apple to satisfy its consumers because those consumers are used to the best. Any little flaw becomes magnified, and anything less than perfection will be raked through the coals. In addition, Apple is attracting a much larger and broader array of customers and, let’s face it, some of them won’t be satisfied by anything.

  6. After the first month of sales, I think iPhone 3GS had a higher percentage of customers who were new to iPhone, and iPhone 4 had a higher percentage of customers upgrading from iPhone (original), iPhone 3G, and even iPhone 3GS (if they were willing to eat the extra cost to upgrade early). People who are already familiar with iPhone are bound to be harder to please, compared to “newbies.”

    @ Flawed

    Also, you are right. 213 owners is a ridiculously low sampling, when more than three million were sold by that time. Since it’s so low, how were they selected (or self-selected)?

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