Harris Study Finds Apple #5 Brand in Mobile, #2 in Computers

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A study published by Harris Interactive found that when it comes to mobile phones, Apple is the #5 brand among consumers, despite all the hype around the iPhone. Apple trailed Motorola, HTC, SonyEricsson, and Nokia in the ranking. In computers, Apple came out the as the #2 brand, behind HP and ahead of Dell, despite the Mac’s relatively small (but growing) share of the PC market.

In the chart below, you can see that Motorola lead the field in mobile phones. The numbers in the chart don’t represent percentages, but rather scores based on polling some 25,099 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over between January 11 through January 27, 2011. Harris said that a total of 1,273 brands were rated in 53 separate categories, and the data was then weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population.

Harris Interactive Chart

Source: Harris Interactive

The mobile phone brand ranking includes all handsets, and not just smartphones. Where Apple is a big player in the smartphone business, that smartphone business is still a small part of the overall mobile phone market. In other words, there are many more Motorola, HTC, SonyErricsson, and Nokia mobile phones being used than there are iPhones, and that apparently matters when it comes to brand awareness.

“Apple may have the market cornered on technology enthusiasts, but Motorola satisfies a much wider audience,” Jeni Lee Chapman, Executive Vice President of Brand and Communications Consulting with Harris Interactive, said in a statement. “There is still a large audience of consumers that aren’t interested in a smartphone running their life, and Apple doesn’t have a product to meet that need.”

Confrontational language aside, it’s a testament to Apple’s marketing prowess that its ranking was so close to the three bands above the company considering its niche-status in the overall mobile phone market.

That marketing prowess also threw its weight around in Harris’s computer hardware brand ranking, where Apple was #2, closely behind #1 HP. As you can see in the chart below, Apple was well ahead of #3 Dell, even though Dell sells many times more computers than Apple sells Macs. Harris didn’t offer any commentary on the computer hardware rankings.

Harris Interactive Chart

Source: Harris Intteractive

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MOTOROLA? REALLY? did harris interactive find a survey they didn’t tabulate from 1986?  oh, wait, who paid for the study? follow the money… lies, damn lies, and surveys.


I don’t really understand what they are measuring.  Somebody explain what it means to be the #1 mobile phone brand.


Harris didn?t offer any commentary on the computer hardware rankings.

Curious. They had plenty to say about the phone rankings. Perhaps the computer rankings were not what they expected.

Outcomes aside, it would be informative to know what metrics were used in these rankings and how they were weighted.


A ranking where Apple comes behind SonyEricsson but ahead of Dell seems rather bizarre and unbelievable to me.


Polling is an amazing science.
By careful wording of the questions, precise selection of who you are polling and careful statistical distillation of the data you can get d*** near any answer you want.


It can be. But much depends on how the questions are constructed, and whether or not the responses are pre-coded. These do not necessarily reflect the respondent’s opinions or intent if they are very constrained. I just took a survey for Intuit yesterday, and had to qualify, at the end of my survey, several of my responses, which were not what I actually wanted to say.

I am inclined to agree with gnasher729, however, that the results are counterintuitive and lead one to question what metrics were used, how were they weighted, and quite honestly, what were people asked.

On the other hand, the spreadpoint between all top 5 on the phone questionnaire is not that great, even though Moto come out on top. The relative lack of differentiation all around leads me to question whether people were polled on issues that truly mattered to them.

Brendon Smith

HP above apple on computer rankings really?  HP is awful didn’t they scrap their research and development arm?  I don’t think HP has done anything innovative in at lease 4 years and their laptops are hideous.


Oh…calm down now, all you Mac Snobs. Yes it’s true.


From the PR linked to at the top of this article:

The keystone to the program is Equity, which provides an understanding of a brand’s overall strength and is determined by a calculation of Familiarity, Quality, and Purchase Consideration.

This year’s Harris Poll EquiTrend? study was conducted online among 25,099 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over between January 11 and 27, 2011. A total of 1,273 brands were rated in 53 separate categories. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 60 randomly selected brands.

That’s all they tell us about the study… no indication of what questions were asked or what it means to “rate” a brand.

Without more detail from Harris, the results are out of context and meaningless, and seem only to allow Moto to place a nebulous feather in its cap.

Also, the bar chart above for mobile phones is highly misleading - because only a segment of the chart is actually represented, the Moto bar is more than twice the length of the other bars, despite a ranking difference of only about 5%.


Has nothing to do with Mac snob.

For the mobile phones, I would believe Sony/Ericsson or Nokia since you are including all handsets, but Motorola almost went bankrupt a few months ago.

For the Computers: What is it ranking?  Obviously not customer satisfaction.  Also, how can you have a “Computer Hardware Brand of the Year” and only include HP, Apple, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway and Lenovo?  What about Sony, Asus, eMachines, Acer?

Also, when you report a study, you should really report the questions you ask, not to mention when you call it a “Poll” you need to report the margin of error.

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