Apple’s powerful yet pint-sized iPhone SE has won the hearts of many, and it recently lodged the top spot on American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI’s) annual survey, surpassing all other handsets in the running. This is an intriguing feat since the general preference among customers is clearly shifting toward bigger smartphones featuring larger displays.
Out of 20 popular smartphones, Apple’s 4-inch iPhone SE scored an impressive 87 out of 100 points on ACSI’s annual survey — securing the top spot above larger handsets like Samsung’s 5.7-inch Galaxy S6 edge+ and Apple’s 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, which scored 86/100, securing the second and third spots on the list.
“Over the past few years, the general trend for smartphones has been toward larger screens,” said ACSI Managing Director, David VanAmburg, who added, however, that “Apparently, consumers were craving a new iteration of a smaller, less expensive phone as the iPhone SE – Apple’s first update to a 4-inch phone since 2013 – comes in first in ACSI this year.”
How Were the Results Calculated?
ACSI’s survey results are based on input obtained from interviewing 36,194 U.S.-based customers, selected at random, who were contacted via email between May 2016 and April 2017. In order to achieve its ‘customer satisfaction score’, ACSI claims that its data is collected and analyzed via the firm’s proprietary “cause-and-effect econometric model,” which is designed to compute the data and produce an overall estimate of customer satisfaction.
Why Do People Love the iPhone SE?
The iPhone SE, which features a number of internal improvements over the equally-sized iPhone 5 and 5s before it, was introduced in March, 2016, amidst Apple’s acknowledgement that some people just love smaller phones. No matter how big iPhone displays are bound to become, there will always be a niche market for one-handed devices like the iPhone SE.
Couple that with the fact that iPhone SE sells for a comparatively low price of just $399 for a base-model, and it should come as no surprise why Apple’s reincarnation of the 4-inch form-factor was so well-received by customers — especially those living in developing markets where the prospect of a $600-$700 iPhone is off the table for most.
While Apple “refreshed” the iPhone SE by doubling its inbuilt SSD storage earlier this year (from 16 GB to 32 GB or 64 GB to 128 GB), the company has yet to unveil a true successor to the 4-inch flagship — and we shouldn’t expect to see one, either, according to famed Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, who in a research note last year claimed that the iPhone SE is the last pint-sized iPhone on Apple’s radar.