Revealing user survey proves Windows Phone a worthy adversary for iPhone, if only it had the apps

Revealing user survey proves Windows Phone a worthy adversary for iPhone, if only it had the apps

People love their iPhones. That’s one relatively unsurprising takeaway from a large customer satisfaction survey undertaken by PC Magazine. But there are also some surprises. It turns out that Windows Phone is coming in a very close second in many categories and even beats out the iPhone as the people’s favorite smartphone on AT&T.

The survey covers satisfaction of mobile operating systems, individual devices, carriers and the reasons that people choose one device over another. It’s a gold mine of information about how well the various major players in the industry are doing in satisfying customers. The survey does not include any results from those who were not actually users and no results were measured that had less than 50 responders.

Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone, for instance, came in tied for first place in operating system customer satisfaction. Windows Phone even topped iOS in a couple of categories like text messages, browsing and reliability. iOS was rated better for quality of apps and music player.

On Sprint, the iPhone came in an easy first and on Verizon iPhone and Windows Phone ran in a dead heat. On AT&T, however, the Samsung Windows Phone offerings actually beat out out the iPhone by a couple of points. In all cases, Android came in a distant third place.

AT&T got absolutely creamed when it came to rating the U.S. carriers available, with U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless taking the top slots. This isn’t all that surprising, as AT&T has been nearly consistently maligned for its terrible customer service, tethering and data throttling practices.

The publication also asked people why they chose the phone that they did, and got some interesting results in return. Windows Phone devices were most often picked for their operating system, demonstrating that the Windows name does have adoption power after all. The iOS customers liked the availability of apps and BlackBerry users were unsurprisingly convinced that email ease and a physical keyboard were integral. Android users were split between screen size, operating system and 4G capability being the deciding factors.

Apple coming in at the top slot isn’t all that surprising, but Windows Phone once again puts up a good showing, demonstrating that Microsoft absolutely has something good on its hands here. The iconic and different interface, which has gone on to inspire Windows 8, and the speed at which users can perform actions on the device are driving people to adopt, and like, the OS.

Android, meanwhile, is lagging behind significantly in satisfaction. And this isn’t a matter of not enough data from Android fans. PC Magazine mobile writer Sascha Segan mentioned on Twitter that the survey had far more Android responders than those who used Windows Phone, and that they just gave lower ratings.

I’ve previously written about my experiences with the Windows Phone-sporting Nokia Lumia, citing the experience of using it as comparable to that on an iPhone. My achilles heel for that device was the amount of apps available, which bears up from the results above, which shows iPhone owners loving their expansive choices of high quality apps the best.

As I wrote about the chances of me replacing my iPhone with a Windows Phone: “If, and it’s a very big if, the Marketplace begins to come alive with the same sense of joy and kind of innovation that iOS users are used to seeing, I could easily see my “would” become a “will”.”

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