Last week I read how J.D. Power’s latest rankings show Microsoft’s tablets rank higher than iPad in customer satisfaction. How can that be? Most people I know with PCs hate them. Most people I know with iPads love them.
In the J.D. Power satisfaction study for tablets even Samsung scores almost the same as Apple’s iPad, though, as expected, Amazon’s tablets rank below average, along with the likes of cheap plastic knockoffs from Acer and Asus. What’s wrong with that picture?
The first thing to consider might be what constitutes a tablet. Secondly, let me point to the obvious. Satisfaction is based upon expectations. That matters.
Is a Microsoft Surface that runs Windows 10 truly a tablet? Or, is it a touchscreen PC with a detachable screen? Is an Amazon Kindle a tablet? Or, is it an eBook reader? I venture to say that the iPad the only true tablet in the mix of products in J.D. Power’s satisfaction study, because even Samsung makes touchscreen PCs. What about touchscreen Chromebooks? Are those tablets?
Frankly, there are too many variables to take J.D. Power’s survey results seriously. Which Microsoft devices were reviewed? Which iPads? Which models of other devices were surveyed? Was it a survey of PC owners moving to iPads? There is no mention of the type of user at all.
From my perspective, such surveys and their results are next to useless, certifiable Apple fandom notwithstanding. Too many variables.
I would not define as a tablet– in the sense of an iPad, which is a standalone device that relies on the touchscreen for primary navigation and usage– a Microsoft Surface device that runs Windows 10 but also has a touchscreen with some touch controls, but touch is not the primary interface (most Windows 10 touchscreen devices are used with a keyboard; haven’t seen one without except in TV commercials).
Therein lies the difference. Windows sufferers may be impressed with the ease-of-use in Windows 10, and somewhat enamored by the touchscreen options, even if it is seldom used. That skews satisfaction ratings. Some iPad customers might be somewhat disappointed that a true tablet does not have the same power and capability as a Windows 10 PC or Mac.
See the problem?
Expectations are an important component when comparing satisfaction, especially so when the products are not Apple to apples comparisons. A Windows 10-based Surface device is not an iPad, so satisfaction between users cannot be equivalent except in the most general of terms.
What J.D. Power does, though, is explain the obvious. Higher satisfaction belongs to devices with larger screens. Price dominates the selection process. Most Windows 10-based Surface PCs have screens larger than most iPads. iPads are the most expensive of true tablet devices. What isn’t listed at all are how the devices are used, types of applications used, and price comparisons.
MDN’s take on the J.D. Power tablet satisfaction study mirror my own.
Is it really a “tablet” if you have to use a stylus, physical keyboard, and mouse multiple times more than real tablet users?