The iPad tops tablet customer satisfaction ratings, but the Kindle Fire isn’t far behind

iPad Bests Kindle Fire

If anyone’s going to pose a real challenge to Apple (AAPL) in the tablet space, it looks as though it will have to be Amazon (AMZN). J.D. Power has released its latest tablet customer satisfaction study and has found that Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the only tablet within striking distance of Apple’s iPad, although it notes that the Kindle Fire’s only advantage over the iPad is its low price while the iPad holds the edge for performance, ease of operation, features, style and design.

Even so, the J.D. Power survey is the second survey in recent months to find that the Kindle Fire is right behind the iPad for customer satisfaction. ComScore last month found that iPad owners scored their overall satisfaction with their tablet an 8.8 on a scale of one to ten, while Kindle Fire owners scored their overall satisfaction at 8.7. This fits right in with J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction ratings, which scored the iPad at 848 and the Kindle Fire 841 on a scale of 0 to 1,000.

Neither the J.D. Power survey nor the comScore survey asked users to rate their satisfaction with Google’s (GOOG) Nexus 7 tablet. J.D. Power’s full press release follows below.

J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Tablets Challenge Personal Computers for Top Position in Content Consumption 

Apple Ranks Highest in Owner Satisfaction among Tablet Manufacturers

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 13 September 2012
 –Tablets are transforming the way content is consumed and challenging the usage patterns for personal computers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction StudySMreleased today.

The inaugural Tablet Satisfaction Study finds that tablet owners spend 7.5 hours per week browsing the Internet, watching videos, listening to music, and reading books on their device, compared with spending 9.6 hours per week on a personal computer for the same activities. Overall satisfaction is 857 (on a 1,000-point scale) among owners who view three or more hours of video per week on their tablet, which is 45 points higher than among those who do not. In addition, those who spend three or more hours viewing video content are more likely to purchase another tablet from their current manufacturer in the future than are those who do not watch as much video content (90% vs. 81%, respectively).

“As tablet computing, multimedia, display, and application offerings continue to evolve, their impact on usage patterns will continue to grow,” said Dr. Uma S. Jha, senior director of mobile devices at J.D. Power and Associates. “Tablets are a force in the marketplace that offer a great alternative to laptops and netbooks.”

The study measures tablet owner satisfaction among those who have owned their tablet for less than two years. Satisfaction is measured across five key factors. In order of importance, they are: performance (26%), ease of operation (22%), styling and design (19%), features (17%), and price (16%).

Apple ranks highest, achieving a score of 848, and performs well in four factors: performance; ease of operation; styling and design; and features. Amazon (841) closely follows Apple in the rankings and performs particularly well in the price factor.

The study also finds the following key tablet usage patterns and purchase trends:

  • Tablet owners who also have a smartphone spend 40 percent more time browsing the Internet on their tablet than on their smartphone. Similarly, they spend 56 percent more time using gaming apps on their tablet than on their smartphone.
  • One-fourth (25%) of owners indicate they use their tablet for business purposes.
  • More than one-third (37%) of tablet owners say they are likely to buy a new tablet within the next 12 months.
  • Among tablet owners who are highly satisfied (those rating their device 10 on a 10-point scale), 90 percent say they are likely to purchase additional consumer electronic devices from the same manufacturer.
  • Three-fourths (75%) of tablet owners indicate they were the sole decision-maker in purchasing their device.
  • More than one-half (61%) of owners share their device with at least one other person.

The 2012 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study is based on experiences reported by 1,985 tablet owners. The study was fielded in July 2012.

For more information on customer satisfaction with wireless service, wireless retail sales, cell phone handsets, customer care, prepaid wireless service and business wireless service, please visit JDPower.com.

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