The best mobile brands in South Africa: iPhone vs Samsung vs Huawei

The latest South African Consumer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for mobile handsets has been released, showing which mobile brands have the most satisfied users in the country.

The index, run by data group Consulta, showed that local mobile handset users are most satisfied with Apple iPhone, despite its general pricing structure.

With an overall SAcsi score of 84, Apple is well above the industry average of 79.7 and 0.5 points ahead of its 2016 score of 83.5.

Huawei ranks second with a 4.1 point jump to 81.3, followed by Samsung, which scored 80.4 (up 0.9 points since 2016).

Other handset manufacturers – including the likes of Sony, Blackberry and LG among others – saw an overall decline in customer satisfaction to 75.1 in 2017, down from 77.5 in 2016 and 82.4 in 2015. There were not adequate samples for brands in the “other” category to be individually detailed, Consulta said.

# Mobile handset 2016 score 2017 score Change
1 Apple iPhone 83.5 84.0 +0.5
2 Huawei 77.2 81.3 +4.1
3 Samsung 79.5 80.4 +0.9
Industry Average 78.2 79.7 +1.5
4 Other (Sony, Blackberry, LG) 77.5 75.1 -2.4

The satisfaction score is based on brands exceeding or falling short of customer expectations and the respondents’ idea of the ideal product to achieve an overall result out of 100.

The measurement also includes, among other measures, Customer Expectations Index, Perceived Quality Index and a Perceived Value Index. The sample included 1,405 mobile phone users who were randomly selected to participate in the 2017 survey.

“Although Apple and Samsung have maintained their dominance in the minds of their customers, Huawei has made strong inroads to grow its market share since last year,” said Consulta CEO, Professor Adré Schreuder.

“While the Chinese brand offers a high-quality smart phone at a more affordable price, it’s moved beyond the focus on display and camera quality to position itself as a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) capability.”

According to Schreuder, handset manufacturers face constant pressure to offer customers more value for less cost.

“With new models of premium handsets likely to be more expensive than models already in market, brands will need to be careful about trying to be all things to everyone,” Schreuder said.

“Apple, for instance, offers more affordable devices like the iPhone 5S for R6,999, with its flagship iPhone 7S costing close on R16,500. Samsung has also followed this strategy of playing across segments, offering phones from as little as R999 right up to R15,300, but the risk is an inconsistency in brand experience,” he said.

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The best mobile brands in South Africa: iPhone vs Samsung vs Huawei