Why did Apple fall down 24 places in an annual company reputation ranking?

Why did Apple fall down 24 places in an annual company reputation ranking?
Apple has fallen 24 places – from 5th to 29th – in the annual Reputation Quotient made by analytics company The Harris Poll.

The survey had 25,800 consumers in the US voice their opinion on which company they thought had the best reputation. For the second year in a row the winner is Amazon. The company seems to be getting more and more love each year, and the first place confirms it all. There's something interesting though and it's regarding Apple ranking. Last year the company was 5th, but has since fallen down 24 positions, getting the 29th place this year.

But why did users put Apple so low in the rankings? Well, according to John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll, it is due to Apple not releasing any attention-grabbing or technologically ground-breaking products as of recently. There might be another reason, though, and that's the controversy surrounding some of the most recent Apple products.


The company could've made some design mistakes in the past year, or at least that's what user might be thinking. For example, the launch of the iPhone X marked the debut of the display notch. It was deemed bizzare by many, who actually never grew to love it. Don't get us wrong, the iPhone X is a great device – it has the TrueDepth camera that allowed unlocking your phone by simply looking at it, and an edge-to-edge display, but it also had a $999 price tag, which was considered too expensive by many. Strike one.


What did even more damage to Apple's reputation has to be the battery management affair surrounding older iPhones. Back in iOS 10.2.1, Apple added a battery management feature which supposedly slowed your phone down if it had an old battery to prevent sudden shutdowns. However, everything happened behind the scenes and when users finally found out Apple legitimately slowed down their devices, they were mad for a reason. The company will allow you to turn on and off the battery management feature in iOS 11.3, but some users might have trust issues already. Strike two, Apple?


Worth mentioning are the issues the HomePod, Apple's take at smart speakers, faced upon release. Despite being one of the best sounding speakers on the market, it was deemed "dumb" by some users due to the limitations that its built-in virtual assistant, Siri, had. Furthermore, the HomePod was restricted to using Apple Music, with no native support for other music-streaming services, such as Spotify, which instantly turned off some potential buyers. Add to that the "white ring" issue, which we have already covered, and a solid, $349 price tag, the HomePod may have been a disappointment for some users.

All being said, Apple will stay Apple and strike three would be far from "game over" for the company's reputation, which has been proved time and time again as years have passed. However, if it wants to climb higher in reputation lists, Apple would have to avoid the mistakes it made in the past year and learn from them instead.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that Apple was not the only company to go down in the rankings. Rival Google also got hit hard, dropping down 20 places in the poll – from 8th in 2017, to 28th this year.

Related phones

iPhone X
  • Display 5.8" 1125 x 2436 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 2716 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

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42 Comments

1. cmdacos

Posts: 4264; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Notch and software quality.

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The liars that Apple really are when it came to the battery fiasco. If it wasn't for 3rd parties that brought the slow downs to light. Then Apple would have never admitted to doing anything wrong. Plus the iPhone X notch is one thing, but forcing developers to support Apples notch is another thing. If there was ever a communist company, then Apple would be right up there. Plus Apple cares more about profits than keeping its customers happy. As if it costs Apple over $500 to repair the glass back on the iPhone X. Apples greed has no bounds.

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

With service prices that Apple offers. Who cares if they have great service, especially when they are raping you in the first place. Maybe it might be better if they lubbed you up first. Nah, who am I kidding.

14. c.m.s

Posts: 236; Member since: Dec 10, 2017

And the reason for Google doing pretty much the same fall as Apple? A raise in price for their most popular product, sure could be a factor (for Google as well but to a minor effect since hardware is not there main thing). Bad publicity regarding how the power management feature was handle could be a factor as well. But it has nothing to do with notches and things like that, that is pure nonsens. The only people discussing that are fanboys on tech sites, not normal people.

26. cmdacos

Posts: 4264; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Except Google pixel phones have had significant increase in sales year over year. Granted some of last year's devices are in that sales growth but if not many people bought the original Pixel, it's highly unlikely they are buying them this year. Plus the pixel 2xl is doing well with its top performing camera updates and pixel exclusive features.

33. c.m.s

Posts: 236; Member since: Dec 10, 2017

What does that have to do with my question? Again, Google lost almost as many places as Apple, why is that? And regarding Pixel. You cannot compare it to iPhones and other big players phones when it comes to sales. They do not play in the same league. Its alot easier to increase sales when you sell as few units as Google does compared to Apple.

37. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Apple fell 27 positions, and Google fell 20 positions and is now higher than Apple. Sales are one thing, but comparing smartphones is another. Apple has proven brand loyalty, even if they do wrong things. Like the crappy iOS 11, or the batteries, or there service charges to repair things. Like $500 to repair a glass back on the iPhone X, or FORCE developers to support the iPhone X notch, and reject your app if you do not add support for the iphone X notch. Plus there is more. Apple has turned into a greedy selfish controlling manipulative prick, and could care less about its customers.

39. c.m.s

Posts: 236; Member since: Dec 10, 2017

No they did not, Apple fell 24 and and Google 20 and is in the spot just infront of Apple. There are alot of other smartphone companies behind them like Samsung. This is not Apple users that they question, its random US citizens. Now I ask you again, why did Google drop almost the same number of places?

10. steved13

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 03, 2013

Oh yes! The software quality has deteriorated sharply under Cook. iOS 11 has so many glitches, especially visual ones six months after its release. What a disgrace...

18. drunkenjay

Posts: 1697; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

software is good but needs improvements such as bugs. notch is okay for vertical use.

25. lyndon420

Posts: 6827; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Maybe it's just me, but for the richest company in the galaxy I expect more from their devices.

38. willytbk

Posts: 252; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

i agree with the software quality, apple seemed to not very good in QC nowadays for their iOS releases. as for the notch, it depends.

41. TerryD

Posts: 553; Member since: May 09, 2017

Stealth throttling. Busted. Messes with your reputation when you're shafting your users and they find out.

42. TerryD

Posts: 553; Member since: May 09, 2017

Repost, sorry

2. bucknassty

Posts: 1353; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

that performance crap is just plain wrong

4. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I've compiled a list because I'm old and have nothing better to do! Without further ado: 1. Notch. 2. Batterygate. 3. iOS 11 a.k.a the ugly little duckling full of bugs. 4. Over pricing ($350 iPhone X for nearly $1,300). 5. Expensive repairs (Don't drop an iPhone X. It costs $650). 6. Old design recycling. 7. Lack of innovation. 8. Tribe branding i.e Heavy emphasis on brand instead of the actual product(s) and services. I'm probably missing a few things here and there but like I said; I'm just an old man! G'Day!

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 31311; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

My satisfaction with Apple has dropped steadily, since the 5S. Too many issues, and the drop off in QC is quite obvious. Apple's quick update cycle, is actually more of a fix cycle. It's not the same anymore.

11. Not_Amused321

Posts: 65; Member since: Jan 06, 2013

Is there a way to go from ios 11 back to 10.3.3 before I purchase android phone seriously?!

24. bucknassty

Posts: 1353; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

get a pixel lol

12. steved13

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 03, 2013

1) The software is not what it used to be, it’s full of glitches and bugs and honestly barely usable at the release (macbook pro with touch bar was a nightmare at first) 2) The product lines are not coherent (e.g. macbook, macbook air, macbook pro with touch bar, without etc) 3) They have dropped features that people absolutely loved, like touch id and magsafe. 4) They have increased the already high prices without adding any useful features. 5) The competition has drastically improved. iphones have to compete with the beautiful galaxy s8 and s9, and the macbooks with the dell xps, hp spectre, and microsoft’s surface. Personally I will continue to buy apple products because I have already invested heavily in the ecosystem (apple watch, homepod, apple tv). But I am no longer as happy and excited about new apple products as I used to be.

21. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

this is probably the best summary. You nailed it. I would have upgraded my 2014 macbook pro this year but once i saw the prices/specs/features, there was no way this was happening.

34. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Lol, what good is it do if you keep spend in same brand? Nothing will change if you just keep give them your money.

16. Whitedot

Posts: 831; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

X already was on sale for 939 on very uk. It says all. I sold my original Pixel to an Iphone user . He said he was with Iphone and ecosystem since first Iphone and now I will quote him " I had enough".

19. gamehead unregistered

Overpriced products, lacking features the competition has, that notch, the battery debacle...

20. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

iOS 11, iphone 6 battery issues and price of new X. Its been a bad year for apple compared to their standards.

23. tedkord

Posts: 17414; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I doubt the notch or the lack of real progress in products had much to do with it. After all they were 5th last year and that was the third year in a row releasing pretty much the same phone. I'd imagine it's because of the slowing down of older phones intentionally and surreptitiously. It just looked shady. Be more upfront, and the reputation will rebound.

29. talon95

Posts: 1000; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

To think, some Android manufacturers followed the bad notch design as if it would win them customers. Hope they get a wake up call now and cancel their production orders after seeing how much it may hurt them.

32. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Apple has also been under fire again for crap labor conditions.

35. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Nice to have see Apple performance under pressure.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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