microsoft phoneApple, Samsung and Google continue to dominate markets for consumer connected devices, but Microsoft’s focus on improving the overall user experience is paying off, according to Argus Insights. Microsoft’s ¨Delight Index¨ – Argus Insights’ proprietary measure of user satisfaction – has been on the rise for the past nine months, leaving Microsoft mobile satisfaction rates second after Apple in Argus’s latest ranking of consumer electronics (CE) brands and products.

Microsoft is gaining adherents among users of smartphones, fitness bands and tablets in particular, Argus Insights highlights in its “Battle of the Brands: September 2015 -Making Sense of the Mad Dash for Mindshare” report. Samsung, in contrast, has been hit hard by Apple’s latest iPhone launch.

Microsoft Mobile Satisfaction
“Apple has created a Walled Garden with its all-star mix of hardware and software. But over the past year we have watched Microsoft’s success in devices poking holes in Apple’s walls with their tablet and wearables offerings, “ CEO John Feland was quoted in a press release.

“Unlike Google and Amazon, which offer inexpensive hardware offerings meant to entice more consumers to visit their gardens more often, Microsoft has focused on crafting new experiences built on solid hardware that is delighting consumers. Samsung, without a strong content play, is just leasing space in the gardens of other brands.”

In its report Argus presents measures of and analyzes user ¨buzz¨ and ¨delight¨ among the major CE brands and their most popular products. The resulting Demand Scorecards are based on feedback from more than 942,000 consumer reviews from January-September 2015. Highlights include:

  • Smart Home offerings like SmartThings from Samsung or Nest from Google are dragging down consumer brand perceptions. Only the Amazon Echo is adding to a brand’s balance of social capital;
  • Early analysis of the iPhone 6S launch finds that consumer demand for the 6S line is lower than that of the iPhone 6 from September 2014. But this is unlikely to have a significant impact on Apple’s Q3 earnings given pent up demand;
  • Samsung is failing to delight users across multiple fronts and has seen a significant drop as a result of the new iPhones launched in September;
  • While Google owns the Android ecosystem, their branded Nexus hardware just delivers ‘good enough’ to consumers, a bar being raised by Microsoft and Apple.