Google’s budget-friendly Pixel smartphones have topped Apple’s iPhones when it comes to customer satisfaction.
Retailing around $649 – less than half the cost of an iPhone – the internet search powerhouse’s latest Pixel 3a smartphone is keeping customers happy, a Roy Morgan poll revealed.
Google finished first in the market research agency’s latest handset provider customer satisfaction awards, scoring a 4 per cent rise in satisfaction in June.
Google received a satisfaction rating of 94 per cent followed by Apple’s iPhone on 93 per cent, with a three-way tie for third between Samsung, LG and Motorola all on 90 per cent.
Google’s Pixel phones and Apple’s iPhones have held first and second position respectively for 11 months straight.
“Google has established itself as the premium brand of mobile phone handset in terms of customer satisfaction over the last year,” Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said.
Of the top five brands, LG enjoyed the largest increase to its satisfaction ratings from a year ago, with a 13 per cent jump.
The only decrease in ratings went to Motorola, with a 2 per cent drop compared to a year ago.
Chinese consumer tech brand Oppo narrowly missed a top-five position in June, while Sony, HTC, Huawei, Nokia and Telstra all fell short.
Apple still dominates Australian market
When it comes to market share, Apple’s iPhone is still the most popular choice among smartphone users, boasting more than 60 per cent of market share, followed by Samsung with 21.3 per cent.
Huawei, the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, remains a relative minnow in Australia with 5.3 per cent of market share.
Despite its status as the internet’s search engine of choice, Google still has a long way to go in terms of building its customer base for smartphones in Australia, with around 1.58 per cent of market share.
iPhone’s potential price problem
Some market watchers have questioned whether smartphone shoppers will remain eager to pay Apple’s eye-watering prices.
Recent sales figures from the United States show buyers have overwhelmingly favoured Apple’s lower-cost option, the iPhone XR, over the pricier iPhone Xs.
In Australia, the iPhone XR retails for $1229 and the iPhone Xs begins at $1629.
In the recent June quarter the iPhone XR accounted for 48 per cent of Apple’s smartphone sales – more than the combined sales of the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X in the same quarter last year – Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reported.
“iPhone XR has become the dominant iPhone model,” said CIRP partner and co-founder Josh Lowitz.
“Its 48 per cent share of sales in the quarter is the highest we’ve seen for an individual model since the iPhone 6 in 2015.”
iPhone 11 slated for September
Apple’s hopes for the future will hinge on the release of its latest iPhone, which is expected to launch in September.
Apple is expected to launch three models of what is unofficially known as the iPhone 11, following the template of last year’s release of the premium iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, and lower-cost iPhone XR.
According to leading Apple news site 9to5mac, the two premium iPhone 11 models will feature a 3x OLED Retina display, while the lower-cost iPhone XR upgrade will feature a 2x Liquid Retina display.
The iPhone 11’s most radical departure from recent models is expected to come in the form of a square module with multiple camera lenses on the back of the device.