ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) released their findings for smartphone companies and their customer satisfaction ratings for 2014, and the results were a little surprising to some. For the first time, Samsung is beating Apple in this metric – 81 (Samsung, a 6.6 improvement) to 79 (Apple, a -2.2 decline).
The odd thing about this metric is that Apple increased their sales of smartphones in 2014, while Samsung decreased. Still, one only has to look back at some of the blunders Apple endured in 2014 to realize where the decreased rating comes from.
iOS 8 Rollout: Many users (myself included) with 16GB devices were unable to install the update via the ‘over the air’ (OTA) process due to the sheer size of the iOS 8 upgrade. Many users got through the entire download portion of the upgrade process, only to be informed at the last stage that their device could not be upgraded. Worse yet, the remedy for this problem (to perform the upgrade via iTunes) was not conveyed in the error message, so many people thought that they had no way to upgrade their device to iOS 8.
iPhone 6/6 Plus Supply Issues: Having supply outstrip demand is usually a good problem to have, but in Apple’s case with the iPhone 6/6 Plus, the shortages may have cost them some customer satisfaction points. There are well documented cases of people who ordered a 6 Plus on the day that preorders were first possible, but didn’t receive their devices for months later. Months. The supply was so constrained for these devices that you could routinely see people lined up at Apple Stores before they opened, trying to get whatever stock they had on hand, well in to December. As the year comes to a close, Apple has brought the wait time for a 6 Plus down to a day, but it’s been a hard struggle.
iOS 8.01 Update: Then there’s the infamous iOS 8.01 update. This update caused cellular issues in a large enough number of user’s devices that Apple pulled the update shortly after it’s release. Want to generate bad customer satisfaction? Release an update for a device that someone may have just purchased that essentially breaks one of it’s main features.
Apple had other, non iPhone related debacles in 2014 as well: the WWDC iPhone Keynote fracas, 2014 Mac Pro video rendering problems, a Mac mini update/non upgrade, an increase in repair costs for non Applecare covered iPhones, and more.
Apple had a lot to be proud of in 2014, but if Customer Satisfaction is still a metric they care about, they need to do better in 2015.
File this under ‘duh‘:
Apple still dominates e-commerce, but Android devices are stealing share. Throughout 2014 – in our E-Commerce Mobile Report in July, and for the first three weeks of the holiday season, Android devices were “nibbling at the Apple,” stealing e-commerce share from Apple devices (iPhones and iPads). The same trend took place on Cyber Monday and the entire holiday weekend: The vast majority of mobile shopping happened on Apple devices over the weekend – 78%, while only 21.6% happened on Android devices. However, Apple’s share is down from 84.1% on last year’s holiday weekend 2013, while Android’s share is up from 15.4%.
The report lumps all Apple devices (iPads and iPhones) together, but I’d love to see a breakout of how much shopping is done on each device.
Category: Apple,Apple Retail
Apple SVP Eddy Cue famously said earlier this year that 2014 was going to be a banner year for Apple products.
With the year coming to a close, now is a good time to reflect back on the hardware that Apple released over the last 12 months and examine where Apple went right and where they went wrong.
Category: Apple,Apple Retail,Hardware,iPad,iPhone,iPod,Opinion
So much for doubling down on secrecy.
Time will tell whether this mock up and case are the real deal, but if they are, you have to wonder… With using 3rd party labor and manufacturing, is it even possible for Apple to keep something under wraps anymore? Is the secrecy that preceded projects like the iPhone and iPad a thing of the past?
Great article from the NY Times:
Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.
A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.
The article skirts some of the main reasons why types of jobs aren’t coming back” Specifically, no mention is made of the high taxes companies pay in the US (which results in these jobs being filled overseas by ‘contractors’, whom Apple is not liable for).
Jobs is probably right that these jobs are never coming back to the U.S. though. And that scares the hell out of me. One day soon, the Asian companies that produce the hardware will figure out how to produce software that is good enough, and once that happens, the American companies who have used these Asian manufacturing companies will find themselves cut out of the chain, and competing with their manufacturers, who will be able to seriously undercut them.
Category: iPhone,News,Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs has penned another detailed missive, this time on Flash and how/why Apple doesn’t support it on it’s mobile devices. It’s a 1600 word opus that breaks down the argument in to 6 reasons – openness, full web, reliability (and security/performance), battery life, touch, and platform issues.
I can’t argue with most of the points, however this one is not entirely accurate:
Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.
The Flash plugin is proprietary, but anyone can build an application that exports to the Flash format. Applications like Swish and others offer Flash creation tools that export to the Flash format. It’s a minor point to quibble with, as the Flash plugin is proprietary.
It will be interesting to see how Adobe responds to this. Adobe, from the CEO on down, has been dissing Apple’s mobile offerings lately in hopes of preserving it’s Flash kingdom. Having Steve Jobs and his 1600 word megaphone broadcast a detailed defense of why Apple avoids Flash can’t go unanswered. Can it?
Great looking app that allows for exactly what the title says: Wi-Fi sync from your computer to your iPad/iPod. Of course, this app still needs to make it through Apple’s approval process. So, I wouldn’t get too excited for it. Still, maybe the publicity of having this app out in the wild will apply pressure to Apple to bring this feature to the iPhone OS.
We can dream, right?
From the London Evening Standard:
“A deal would make a lot of sense for Apple,” said one trader. “That way, they could stop ARM’s technology from ending up in everyone else’s computers and gadgets.” Traders reckon a bid would come in at around 400p a share, valuing ARM at more than £5.2 billion.
Apart from driving their competitors in to the arms of Intel for mobile chips, what does this large purchase get Apple that they don’t already have?
I don’t see it happening. If you ask me, Apple is hoarding it’s money for something bigger than an ARM purchase. I don’t know what that might be, hell – I don’t think Apple even knows what that might be yet, but having money on hand gives them lots of options.
I mean, why? Do you think there are iPhone users out there who actually would want to run Android on their iPhone? I don’t.
It’s an impressive feat, from an engineering angle. But from a “is this a good use of my time” angle, I’d have to say no.
Boy Genius Report:
we’ve confirmed with multiple AT&T sources that the carrier has now put a block on employees taking vacations in June. The only time AT&T does a straight block like this is for iPhone launches.
Count me as excited. I’ve been limping along with an iPhone 3G that just seems way to pokey now under iPhone OS 3. The sooner the new phone launches, the better.