Apple's iPad Gets Another JD Power Award, Cheap Tablets Get Low Satisfaction

Apple's iPad was king of customer satisfaction for tablets, according to JD Power's 2014 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study—Volume 1. The research company announced on Monday that it was giving the iPad its self-titled JD Power Award, and that an increase in cheap tablets has led to an overall decrease in customer satisfaction for the segment.

JD Power Award

The JD Power Award Goes to Apple

"Apple ranks highest in overall satisfaction with a score of 830 and performs highest in all study factors except cost," JD Powers said in a statement. That is born out in the chart below, which shows that Apple's iPad crushing the competition in every metric except cost.

JD Power Chart

At the same time, price played an increasing role in the tablet market in this most recent survey, as more people picked their tablet based on price. JD Power drew a direct corollary between cheap tablets and decreasing customer satisfaction.

"Price has significantly impacted the marketplace," Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at J.D. Power, said. "The average purchase price continues to drop and consumer expectations of tablet performance and features are different than they were for past products. Subsequently, overall satisfaction has declined, especially with ease of operation, as navigation features and functions have changed.

Overall customer satisfaction has decreased some 18 points to 835 (out of 1,000) from 2012 to 2014, and "ease of operation" was the biggest reason behind this decline. Tablet owners also complained about navigation and managing their settings.

At the same time, 25 percent of respondents cited price as the primary reason they picked their current tablet. In other words, the bottom of the market is living proof that you get what you pay for.

When you look at the chart above, it's clear that Apple is blowing the competition out of the water when it comes to using a tablet. At the same time, when you count price, the satisfaction equation looks much, much closer, as shown in this graph:

JD Power Graph

Samsung was the number two brand in the survey, scoring 822 points to Apple's 830. While the IP infringer didn't do as well as Apple in any metric dealing with using a tablet, the company did score well in cost. Congrats, Samsung.