Tag Archives: smartphones

J.D. Power’s 2013 Smartphone Satisfaction Survey

Apple easily won the survey, for the ninth time in a row. Last year, them and HTC were the only ones above the industry average; this year, Apple was alone in that regard. Nokia improved a lot, thanks to their Windows phone, and it, Samsung, Motorola and HTC were virtually tied for second place. Way down at the bottom, LG and Blackberry.

2013 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power


The survey asks people who have had their smartphone for less than a year to rate it based on performance, physical design, features, and ease of operation.

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From J.D. Power, via iMore

The ‘Phone’ Part of ‘Smartphone’

Millennials, or Generation Y, are those born around 1990, give or take a decade.

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From Sticky Comics, via Laughing Squid

That iPhone Is Probably The Most Secure Thing You Own

Ever since the 3GS model, iPhones have had built-in, automatic hardware encryption. That, coupled with a robust operating system with very few security flaws, makes it simple to keep anyone from getting to your data: just turn on password protection for the lock screen (Settings –> General –> Passcode Lock) and pick a strong password, which has more than 10 characters that aren’t words in the dictionary. Once the phone is powered off, it would take even the NSA 25 years to crack its security.


This is because Apple uses 256-bit AES encryption keys that are stored in the phone’s hardware — the same technology used by the government to store top-secret data. Each iPhone has its own key that is randomly generated and stored nowhere else in the world but on that phone. All the data stored on it is always encrypted using that key, meaning that if someone took its memory out manually and tried to read it, it would look like gibberish, unless they had the key with which to decrypt it. The only way to get that key is from the phone itself, while it’s running.

If the phone has no PIN set, getting the key is fairly trivial — but if it does have one, then the intruder would have to guess it first. Using software, PINs can be entered about 12x per second, so what makes breaking in take longer is how many passwords the intruder has to enter before guessing correctly. The longer the password, the more possible combinations of letters and numbers there are to try, and they grow exponentially: a 4-digit PIN takes 13 minutes to guess, a 6-digit one takes a day, and a 10-digit PIN takes 2.5 years.

The strong encryption key and PIN lock — combined with the option to wipe the phone’s data after 10 incorrect PIN entries and the Find My iPhone feature — most likely makes it the hardest consumer good from which to steal information, including safes. The only other smartphone with similar data protection is the once-mighty Blackberry. There are, however, two gotchas to watch out for, both related to data duplication:

  1. The cloud: almost all the information on the iPhone can and usually is pulled from or duplicated on a computer on the Internet. If someone breaks into that computer, they have access to it without going through your phone.
  2. Your home computer: when you sync the iPhones with iTunes, a popular option is to backup the phone’s contents on that computer. Someone could easily hack into that backup file and get all the data on your iPhone, without ever touching it. It might be a little out of date, but still a major treasure trove.

From Technology Review, via Slashdot

Just Say No To Vertical Video

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via Cheezburger

PSA: Be Careful What Nicknames People Have In Your Phone

Funny video showing the dangers of using descriptive nicknames like “Ashley Booty Call” as contact names:

From YouTube, via FAIL Blog

Vertical Video Syndrome Awareness

Every once in a while, someone uploads a long and skinny video that many people don’t realize came from taking a video with their smartphone, without rotating it into the landscape orientation. Next time you see such a thing, send them a link to this PSA about Vertical Video Syndrome:

From YouTube, via Laughing Squid

Apple Co-Founder Likes The New Windows Phone

Steve Wozniak, known by nerds all over as “Woz”, was the technical brains behind Apple. He and Steve Jobs first started building computers in Jobs’ parents garage: Woz knew the electronics and technical details like the back of his hand, while Jobs had good taste. The two Steves grew apart over the years, and Woz stayed on at Apple for a couple years after Jobs got fired in 1985. Being a fabulously wealthy nerd, he now consumes all the gadgets he can. His favorite phone is the iPhone, but he also has a few Androids and likes that you can tinker with them more than you can with the iPhone.

Well according to a new interview, he also has the new Windows phone (Nokia Lumia 900), whose interface he likes so much that he thinks Steve Jobs may have reincarnated at Microsoft. And he definitely prefers it to his Androids, but not his iPhone. With this kind of endorsement, maybe mobile Windows isn’t dead yet — much to the chagrin of the Blackberry crowd.

From SoundCloud, via iMore

J.D. Power’s 2012 Smartphone Satisfaction Survey

They rated manufacturers, not devices, which makes it easy for Apple to win since they only make one phone, and it also happens to be pretty awesome. Consumers rated Apple significantly above the other manufacturers, and only it and HTC were rated above the industry average. The other big Android manufacturer, Samsung, was rated just slightly below average, followed closely by Motorola; LG rounded out the Android makers. The rest were all the other (non-iOS, non-Android), failed smartphone operating systems that are still drawing their last breaths: Blackberry ranked about the same as LG, followed by Nokia and, at the very bottom, the now-defunct HP/Palm webOS phones.


Next time your friends want to get an Android phone, point to the iPhone’s place at the top of the user satisfaction survey, their record sales numbers, and their crazy high 89% customer retention rate.

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From JD Power, via iMore

Apple iPhone Might Have By Far The Highest Retention Rate

UBS did a small-ish worldwide phone survey (515 people), with mostly European and Asian smartphone owners, but a quarter of them also came from ‘the Americas’. What they found was that 45% of those surveyed owned iPhones, which is a lot higher than the 25% or so that we see in the US (in surveys with a proper sample size). The Android numbers were backwards too — about 14% owned phones from Android manufacturers, whereas in Nielsen surveys in America, it’s more like 36%. So take the rest of this survey’s results with a sizable grain of salt.

They’ve found that Apple has an 89% “implied retention rate” (dropped from 95% last year), and the next manufacturer is HTC (Android) with 39%, followed by RIM (Blackberry) with 33%, Samsung (Android) with 28% and Motorola with 25%. Nokia’s on there too, but really, who cares? No word on how UBS came up with the “implied retention rate”, but they have figures for how many people are planning to switch to and from a manufacturer. A lot more people planned to switch to Apple than from it, and a few more planned to switch to HTC and Samsung than planned to leave them. Everyone was planning to chuck their Blackberries and Nokias into the river though and get an iPhone, or HTC or Samsung Android.

Most Android users were planning on staying with Android, but about a third were going to move to Apple. HTC was the most popular Android handset (39%), followed by Samsung (27%) and Motorola (16%).

From GigaOm

1 in 3 People Already Want The Unseen iPhone 5

Unlike the iPhone 4, a prototype of which an Apple engineer lost at a bar and ended up in the hands of the media, the iPhone 5 has yet to be seen at all. But everyone has faith that Apple  will deliver, even though Steve Jobs has been on medical leave all year. This, according to a survey by the online store PriceGrabber:

  • 35% of their customers want the iPhone 5
  • 2.5% will get it in the first week
  • The features people are wishing for in the new iPhone: better battery life, lower price, 4G support, bigger screen and better camera
  • Which smartphone OS do they like? iOS by a wide margin, with 48% of the vote.
  • Which physical phone do they want as a gift? Probably because they couldn’t think of another phone, 69% of the people picked the iPhone 5. The Motorola Droid Bionic came in second, with a whopping 7%.

No word on what the other 20% of the population voted for as their favorite mobile OS, but no doubt it was webOS.


Relatedly, word came out recently that some scientists figured out that as long as 10% of the population hold an unshakable belief (read, they’re zealots), that belief will spread like wildfire and consume most of the population. Assuming a third of the 35% of Apple fanbois are zealots, that means that pretty soon we’ll all be sporting iPhones. Although, the researchers’ models didn’t include two conflicting opinions, so maybe the Android crowd will keep Apple in check.

From PR NewsWire, via Wired and Slashdot