In another sign Apple is losing its luster, the iPhone just fell off its top spot as most satisfying smartphone in the United States.
A survey released Wednesday from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) reveals that two Samsung phones, the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II, take the top spots for customer satisfaction in the U.S..
The ACSI gives each smartphone a score between 0 and 100, with 100 being the best. Both the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II got a score of 84, while the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S tied for second at 82. Apple's iPhone 4 nabbed the third-place spot with a score of 81. Samsung's Galaxy S4 was not included in the study, as the study happened before its launch.
ACSI surveyed 4,112 phone owners in the U.S. who judged their phones on overall experience (customer expectations, perception of overall quality, value for money, customer loyalty) and experience of quality (ease of making and receiving calls, ease of sending and receiving text messages, performance of phone in terms of battery life, etc.), a spokesperson for ACSI told The Huffington Post on Wednesday.
These results are a departure from last year's study. In ACSI's May 2012 report, Apple's iPhone took the top spot with a score of 83. Samsung scored a 71, and BlackBerry came in at 69. This year BlackBerry's Curve scored a 67 and the BlackBerry Bold scored 64.
Samsung officially became the world's most profitable handset seller in its second quarter of 2013, shipping 213 million phones in 2012 compared to Apple's estimated 135.8 million, so these results shouldn't be too much of a surprise.
Apple's been taking a beating this year: Its stock is down to $450 from more than $700 in October of last year. Journalists have been wondering what the next big innovation is going to be -- if it ever happens. And others have been going around saying that the Galaxy is just way cooler than the iPhone these days.
Samsung should enjoy this moment while it lasts. Once upon a time there was nothing as cool as an iPhone. And remember the new one is rumored to be coming out in September.
Earlier on HuffPost:
4.8-Inch Super AMOLED Display
The screen is huge, up from 4.3 inches on the Galaxy S II. A 4.8 inch screen makes it one of the largest displays on a flagship phone there is. Compare with HTC's One X (4.7 inches), the Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx (4.3 inches), and Apple's iPhone 4S (3.5 inches). The resolution is 1280x720.
Samsung introduces 'S Voice' on the Galaxy S III. To wake the phone up and activate the voice sensor, you simply say "Hi Galaxy!" and the phone wakes up; no need to push a button. Other voice commands, in addition to the stock ones in the Google Voice Actions catalogue: Using your voice, you can launch the camera and take a photo, turn the volume up and down, snooze the alarm (say "Snooze" as your alarm is going off -- dangerous!), and send texts and emails.
If you're writing a text to someone, and then you raise the phone to your ear, the GS3 launches the telephone app and automatically calls the person you were texting.
The Galaxy S III comes with an NFC chip that allows you to "bump" information like photos or video to other Galaxy S III owners by touching phones together, using a combination of the NFC technology and Wi-Fi Direct. With All-Share Cast, you can beam your screen to any DLNA-compatible television; All-Share Cast also allows you to share your screen onto anyone else's smartphone for document collaboration.
Pop Up Play
"Pop up play" will allow you to play a video anywhere on the screen while also performing other tasks, like checking your email or responding to texts. You can make the video window as large or small as you want. Here, you can see a YouTube video playing toward the bottom of the screen while a demonstrator prepares to search Google.
The Galaxy S III's 8 megapixel camera comes with burst photography: Holding down the shutter will take twenty photos in a row; you can then choose the best photo and the phone will automatically erase the other 19. A similar function exists on the HTC One line of phones. An alternate function: The Burst camera can take 8 photos in a row and then automatically choose the best one, if you're too indecisive to choose on your own.
Buddy Photo Share
The photography software comes with smart facial recognition: When you take a picture of a friend, it can recognize their face and will prompt you to send that photo to that person's phone or email address.
Essentially an eye recognition technology, the GS3 can sense when you are and are not looking it: When you are looking at your screen, the display will stay illuminated; when you stop looking at your phone, the display goes dark to save power. The feature can be toggled on and off, if you prefer to just let your screen time out.
Here's the first commercial for the Galaxy S III. At least, we think it's advertising the Galaxy S III. It might also be advertising a soap opera or Zach Braff film of some kind.