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iPhone 3GS owners happier than Palm Pre owners

updated 11:50 am EDT, Fri August 14, 2009

iPhone 3GS vs Pre Happines

Those who bought an iPhone 3GS are much more likely to be very happy than those who bought the Palm Pre, a study by ChangeWave and RBC Capital Markets shows. At 99 percent, nearly all Apple smartphone buyers are satisfied on at least a basic level with what they bought. Of those, an extremely high 82 percent are "very" satisfied. By comparison, 87 percent of all Pre buyers are satisfied, but only 45 percent of those are very satisfied.

When asked about the reasons they chose their given phones, the primary reasons chosen are similar. Both rank the touchscreen interface as the top feature they appreciate and also put ease of use in the top three.

Remaining reasons vary sharply, however. Exactly a third of iPhone 3GS users like the phone for its faster performance, but 42 percent of Pre users pick multitasking as one of their most important concerns. They also like other Pre-specific features like the performance of the Sprint phone network, the Synergy integration of contact data and the hardware QWERTY keyboard. Meanwhile, iPhone users prefer the breadth of apps, larger screen and improved camera.

Dislikes between the two are more diverse. Notably, a full 55 percent of iPhone owners hate AT&T's network, which hasn't been scaled properly to handle the device and very frequently results in dropped calls and slow data in large cities like New York City and San Francisco. Both have complaints about short battery life, but the next most significant flaw for Palm users is a lack of third-party apps, which 24 percent consider to be a problem. Among the minor issues, both consider a lack of corporate support an issue, but lower-key iPhone complaints center on more specific issues like handwriting recognition and importing contacts from unofficial sources where some Palm users complain about having to use Sprint and, occasionally, difficulty with the phone itself.

While Palm trails Apple significantly in these findings, its score for very satisfied users is a major improvement compared to the time before the Pre, when users had to either choose the aging Palm OS or Windows Mobile. It also puts the company just behind BlackBerry maker Research in Motion's 48 percent. [via Fortune]

by MacNN Staff



  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Build quality and UI experience on the iPhone is a thousand times better than that Palm Premature.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This may have to do with the UI. My understanding is that while the Pre has a lot of really impressive features, the devices requires a little more user know-how than say the iPhone. While the Pre may be a simple for a geek, it may be a little more difficult for the non-geek. I often mention here that I think it's underestimated the lack computer/digital (whatever you want to call it) among the general consumer base. For example, I've found that while most people can manage to "get by" using Office apps - they've only learned to get by, often knowing only what is required of them to do their jobs, but as soon as there's an issue, it's requires assistance from someone a little more savvy.

    This is just a guess, it could just as well be the user base that's making the difference in positive numbers - though 99% is pretty hard to argue with. It could also be that the dissatisfaction has to do more with Sprint's coverage than the device (while the survey may have distinguished between the two, in reality, only a tech savvy person would really consider whether their experience it's based on the device or service). I'd like to see this survey again once Verizon has had the Pre for awhile. It'd also be interesting to the Android OS be compared, though it might be a bit harder as more models would have to be considered.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Funny headline.

    Made me chuckle. What if happy people tend to select the iPhone 3GS while people prone to unhappiness select the Palm Pre? :)

    But then maybe it's because I'm a happy person.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Those commercials.

    Or maybe it's because those weird and creepy commercials tend to attract weird and creepy people?

  1. ADeweyan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A little misleading

    When you read the article, you notice that many of the iPhone customers are comparing the 3GS to their previous iPhone -- which means they were people who already liked the iPhone before buying their latest one.

    With the Pre, however, all the customers are new, so you would expect to have a much lower satisfaction rate.

    Just thought I should mention it.

    The Apple community has plenty to be proud of, so they can afford to only trumpet things that are without qualification.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I try to explain to the

    Engadget tech-nerds who think that some high-tech hardware is going to sell products. Just because some fancy cellphone has about 1,000 features (usually buried deep), everyone is going to run out and buy it. OLED screens, 8MP cameras and 700 MHz processors alone won't do the job. Every time I ask non-tech friends why they use an iPhone or Touch, they usually just say, it's so easy to pick it up and use it without having to study a manual or they got some help at the Apple store when they bought it. Tech-heads just don't get it at all. They believe the more features you can pack into a device, the better it is for average users. I can't figure out where they get such a cockeyed view of things. I guess they never talk to anyone except other tech-heads.

    Tech-heads never concern themselves over bad UIs. I'd just read the manual and memorize the menus and be done with it. My friends would start whining about the menus making no sense to them and give up as being too hard to figure out. Not that these people were stupid, but it just wasn't worth the effort for them to learn. Said they had better things to do. If they had any problems, they'd just ask me. I'm dying to try out the Zune UI and WinMo 7 to see what they're gonna offer users an easier UI than OSX Mobile or Pre's WebOS

  1. 010111

    Joined: Dec 1969



    we all know this is absurd. a computer company can't just walk in and know how to make a phone that appeals to the masses.

    "We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone," he said. "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in.'"

    - Palm CEO Ed Colligan concerning Apple iPhone rumors in late 2006.

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just my opinion...

    ...but I briefly picked up a demo Pre at Best Buy for the first time. You immediately sense the plastic casing (ie - the "squeeze factor") and the very small physical QWERTY keyboard. I was not impressed at all with the hardware; of course, the software/GUI may be quite impressive...I didn't stick around to see.

    Just my opinion.

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