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Everybody loves the iPhone X, but there’s one feature people still can’t stand

Published Apr 23rd, 2018 9:16AM EDT
iPhone X

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A few months removed from the iPhone X launch, I think it’s fair to say that Apple’s next-gen iPhone has been a rousing success. Though iPhone X sales are perhaps not as strong as many anticipated — likely the result of the device’s exorbitant price tag — Tim Cook noted during a recent earnings conference call that the device has remained the most popular iPhone model since hitting store shelves this past November.

All that said, the iPhone X itself was something of a risky product insofar as it was unclear how consumers would take to an iPhone design that was markedly different from all previous models. For starters, the iPhone X saw Apple replace Touch ID — an incredibly reliable, useful, and efficient feature — with a futuristic alternative dubbed Face ID. Though Face ID has proven to be a hit with consumers, replacing a feature as seamless as Touch ID with a seemingly more complex solution was fraught with risk.

Beyond that, the iPhone X marked the first iPhone model to completely do away with the home button, a mainstay of the iOS user experience since the very beginning. But as it turned out, consumers easily adjusted to life without a home button as they quickly acclimated to a number of new multi-touch gestures designed to replace it.

In light of that, Tech.pinions recently published an interesting survey on iPhone X customer satisfaction rates. While such surveys aren’t necessarily instructive in and of themselves, Tech.pinions broke down the iPhone X on a feature by feature basis, thus providing us with far more insight into what consumers think about Apple’s flagship product.

Put simply, the survey found that 97% of iPhone X owners are fans of the device with an even more impressive 85% of respondents indicating that they are very satisfied with the product.

When it came to overall customer satisfaction, iPhone X owners in our study gave the product an overall 97% customer satisfaction. While that number is impressive, what really stands out when you do customer satisfaction studies is the percentage who say they are very satisfied with the product. Considering you add up the total number of very satisfied, and satisfied, to get your total customer satisfaction number a product can have a high number of satisfied responses and lower number of very satisfied responses and still achieve a high number. The higher the very satisfied responses, the better a product truly is. In our study, 85% of iPhone X owners said they were very satisfied with the product.

As a point of context, Ben Bajarin adds: “That number is amongst the highest I’ve seen in all the customer satisfaction studied we have conducted across a range of technology products.”

One of the more interesting aspects of the survey centered on which features customers enjoy and which features need a lot of work. As evidenced via the chart below, most questions regarding the iPhone X yielded a customer satisfaction rate above 90%. Perhaps not surprisingly, the area where iPhone X owners expressed the most disappointment was Siri with 4 out 5 respondents indicating displeasure with the feature.

Image source: Tech.Pinions

Though not a feature unique to the iPhone X, Siri has been widely criticized in recent months. Not too long ago, a report from The Information revealed that Siri ceded ground to rivals from the likes of Google and Amazon due to political infighting and a lack of vision emanating from the top of the company.

As one former Apple employee said, “When Steve died the day after Siri launched, they lost the vision. They didn’t have a big picture.”

Looking ahead, it appears that there isn’t much Apple can do to improve the iPhone X experience aside from improving Portrait Selfies and, naturally, reducing the overall cost of the device. Incidentally, there are rumblings from the rumor mill suggesting that a 6.1-inch LCD version of the iPhone X will be much more affordable, with some analysts anticipating Apple will price the device anywhere from $550 to $700. If this rumor pans out, there’s a strong likelihood that iPhone sales in late 2018 going into 2019 will be incredibly strong.

As far as Siri is concerned, there’s no question that Apple has a lot of ground to make up. The good news, though, is that Apple appears to be concretely aware of Siri’s shortcomings and is dead-set on shoring up glaring holes in the software. To this point, Apple recently hired John Giannandrea, Google’s former chief of search and AI. While it’s not uncommon for engineers in Silicon Valley to hop around between companies, the Giannandrea hire was a huge coup for Apple. And speaking to his level of importance at Apple, word is that he will report directly to Tim Cook.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.