T-Mobile and Apple are the latest US customer satisfaction champs, edging out Verizon and Samsung

T-Mobile and Apple are the latest US customer satisfaction champs, edging out Verizon and Samsung
Customer satisfaction might not be as easy to monitor and assess as the subscriber base of a mobile network operator or the sales numbers of a specific smartphone brand or model, but the latest such report is based on more than 27,000 interviews conducted between April 15, 2019 and March 20, 2020, unquestionably providing a reliable overview of how happy the American people are with their wireless carriers and handsets.

While the mobile industry hasn't gone through any radical transformations over the last 12 months, there are a few important changes to highlight between the latest rankings and 2019's American Customer Satisfaction Index charts. Looking ahead, it will certainly be interesting to see how one hierarchy in particular is affected by the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, as well as continuous 5G network developments and expansions.

T-Mobile remains king, but Verizon could lay claim to the crown in 2021

It's no big secret that Magenta hit the 5G jackpot by acquiring the "Now Network", whose mid-band spectrum is expected to uniquely position "New T-Mobile" as both a nationwide speed and coverage leader, but the wireless merger of the century naturally comes with a fair share of drawbacks for the "Un-carrier" as well.

The most notable shortcoming might be Sprint's shoddy reputation and low customer satisfaction score of 66 (on a scale of 0 to 100). That's actually a small improvement over 2019's result, but it's still a staggering 10 points behind T-Mobile's stable ACSI score of 76.

Just like last year, Verizon comes second with a grand total of 74 points, but if T-Mo doesn't find a quick and convincing way to please all the users it intends to migrate from Sprint in the near future, its overall tally could definitely take a big enough hit next year so that Big Red moves into first place. 

Keep in mind that Verizon is already the nation's number one major carrier when it comes to network quality (as measured by combining call quality, call reliability, network coverage, and data speed customer evaluations), while T-Mobile is tied with AT&T in second place as far as this particular chart is concerned.

Before worrying about its MNO (mobile network operator) score possibly dropping because of the Sprint merger, T-Mobile can't be happy with the 2020 performance of its flagship prepaid brand. Metro is ranked behind newcomer Xfinity Mobile, as well as Cricket Wireless and Virgin Mobile in the full-service MVNO (mobile virtual network operators) hierarchy this year, with a 74-point tally, after tying Virgin for second place behind only Cricket in 2019. 

Finally, Consumer Cellular is not just the year's customer satisfaction champion in the "value MVNO" category, but also the highest overall scorer in the latest ACSI report, despite actually slipping a couple of points compared to its 2019 total of 85.

Apple trumps Samsung, but the Galaxy Note 9 is still America's favorite smartphone

Yes, you read that right, the 2018-released Samsung Galaxy Note 9 managed to rack up the most customer satisfaction points among individual smartphone models in the US for the second consecutive year. We're talking an ACSI score of 85, down one point from 2019 but up one on the Galaxy S9+, Galaxy S10, and iPhone XS Max in 2020.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, 19 out of the top 20 devices are manufactured by Samsung and Apple, with the mid-range LG Stylo 5 the sole intruder in the 18th spot, barely edging out the likes of the iPhone 7, Galaxy J7, and Galaxy S7. 

After pulling even with Apple last year, Samsung is now one point behind the lone market leader for US customer satisfaction despite the fact the iPhone 11 lineup is perhaps not as well-liked as you'd expect. For instance, people are slightly more pleased with the Galaxy S9 than the "regular" iPhone 11 variant, while the 11 Pro is ranked behind the Galaxy S8 and... iPhone 6s.

Interestingly, LG is inching closer to Samsung overall, with 79 points, while Motorola is sinking to a score of 77 after making 2019's podium.

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