samsung tabletTablet users’ desire for ¨always-on¨ network connectivity resulted in rising sales of tablets with mobile data plans, according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study, Volume 2. Satisfaction among these tablet users is on the rise as well, registering higher than those with Wi-Fi-only connections.

Measuring customer satisfaction with tablets based on a weighted average of five factors, satisfaction among those with mobile data plans totaled 833. Satisfaction among tablet users with Wi-Fi-only connections totaled 807, a difference of 26 index points, up from 22 in a similar study in 2014, J.D. Power highlights in an October 29 press release.

Tablet Satisfaction
Samsung ranked highest in overall satisfaction among tablet OEMs, registering an overall satisfaction score of 827 and showing a strong performance across all five criteria.

Amazon and Apple tied for a second-place ranking with an 825 J.D. Power score. Amazon scored high on the cost factor, while Apple performed well on ease of use and performance factors.

Explaining the difference in tablet customer satisfaction between those with and without mobile data plans, J.D. Power noted that Wi-Fi coverage tends to be spotty. The market research provider also attributes higher tablet customer satisfaction to the ability to surf the Web, stream music and videos, play games, and to use apps and social media sites.

In addition, tablet users with mobile data plans use their devices more frequently, which is associated with higher satisfaction. J.D. Power found that that 17 percent stream a full-length movie every day as compared to just 4 percent of those without mobile data plans.

Satisfaction among those that streamed movies daily also was higher than for those who did not – 890 vs. 808, respectively.

“The convenience of being continuously connected is a key driver of satisfaction among tablet owners with data plans,” Kirk Parsons, senior director and technology, media & telecom practice leader at J.D. Power. “Wireless providers benefit by leveraging the convenience of being connected nearly anywhere at any time, as customer spending rises when they purchase a data plan-enabled tablet, and customers benefit by having a satisfying tablet experience. When customers are satisfied, they are more likely to recommend their tablet brand to their friends and family.”

Key report takeaways include:

  • Overall customer satisfaction with tablet devices is 814, a slight decline of 1 point from 815 in Vol. 1 of the 2015 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study.
  • Customers with data plans on their tablet are much more likely to say they “definitely will” purchase additional electronics from their tablet manufacturer than those without data plans (31% vs. 18%, respectively).
  • Among customers with data plans, overall satisfaction is higher when they are on individual plans (847) than when they are on shared plans (820). There is a 37 point satisfaction gap in the cost factor between tablet owners with a shared data plan and those with an individual plan (809 vs. 846, respectively), indicating that customers do not feel that shared plans provide as much value as individual plans.
  • The perception of carrier data connection speeds is improving relative to Wi-Fi connection speeds, increasing the appeal of data plans. The share of customers who say their carrier connection speed is faster than their Wi-Fi connection has increased to 20 percent from 16 percent in Vol. 1.
  • Providing an outstanding tablet data plan experience can generate high levels of advocacy and retention. The study finds that 67 percent of highly satisfied tablet owners with data plans (overall satisfaction scores of 900 or higher) say they “definitely will” recommend their tablet manufacturer, while only 20 percent of indifferent owners (scores from 550 to 750) say they “definitely will” recommend.