Innovation

Apple's iPhone X innovation risks pay off with higher customer satisfaction

Despite reports of slowed production, the iPhone X was the most recommended model out of the newest Apple smartphones.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • 64% of iPhone X users said they would highly recommend the model to family and friends, higher than 34% and 33% of iPhone 8 Plus and 8, respectively. — 451 Research, 2018.
  • The most recent line of Apple smartphones have higher customer satisfaction ratings than the iPhone 7/7 Plus and 6s/6s Plus. — 451 Research, 2018.

The iPhone X may be Apple's most satisfying smartphone yet, according to a new 451 Research report.

Nearly two-thirds of iPhone X owners would highly recommend the model to others, with another 26% somewhat recommending it. High consumer satisfaction ratings may mean that Apple's risks paid off, and may lead the Cupertino giant to return to its formerly high pace of innovation with its future models.

"But it was less clear how users would react to the risks Apple took with its latest releases by removing the Home button, relying heavily on gestures, and setting price points that could put expectations at odds with user satisfaction," Kevin Burden, research vice president at 451 Research, said in the report. "But these bets are clearly paying off for Apple."

SEE: BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy (Tech Pro Research)

The findings come between reports that Apple may slow iPhone X production and the release of the tech giant's fourth quarter earnings later this week. Even if the company manufactures fewer iPhone X phones, Apple could still have a strong sales quarter because the high price of the X may drive people to buy the cheaper, but still popular, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, Larry Dignan said in a ZDNet analysis.

Nearly 13% of people in the December 451 Research survey said they planned on buying a smartphone within 90 days—the highest amount in three years. Over half of intended buyers labeled the iPhone as their top choice, regardless of the specific model they were actually planning to purchase.

Those opting for the iPhone 8 Plus and 8 over the X still posted high satisfaction ratings, with around one-third of owners highly recommending the devices. Nearly half somewhat recommended the 8 Plus, and 41% did so for the 8, the report found.

Overall, Applie's 2017 mobile releases boast much higher satisfaction ratings than previous generations. Around 80% of iPhone X, 8 Plus, and 8 owners said they were very satisfied with their device, up from 62.5% for the 7/7 Plus and 57.7% for the 6s/6s Plus, the report found.

The boost in serious satisfaction may show that taking serious risks pays off, with more innovation equating to happier customers. The success could also prove that the emerging technologies behind the phone—biometrics, augmented reality (AR) capabilities—are serious value points for smartphone users.

This generation of iPhones is also known for its computer power, beating out some laptops in performance testing. This could also make these devices a better option for on-the-go professionals who need to work from the road.

Also see

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Image: 451 Research

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is a Multiplatform Reporter at TechRepublic.

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