Microsoft Surface customers are the happiest and most satisfied when it comes to user experience, and this feeling is far deeper than it is for those using Apple iPads. According to J.D. Power, the reason people are more satisfied using the Surface than the iPad is that the former boasts not just of better features, but its design and styling factors are also superior. Apple’s Jony Ive will really be disheartened to learn this.

Microsoft Surface iPad Tablet Apple
PIX1861 / Pixabay

Microsoft Surface vs. Apple iPad

In J.D. Power’s U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study, the Surface scored 855 points (out of 1,000), beating Apple by six points. The Surface’s connectivity, accessories and pre-loaded apps won the hearts of most users. Other factors such as the beauty of the design and the tablet’s size and build also attracted buyers. According to the survey, Microsoft Surface owners were also found to use more accessories, including a stylus (48% vs. 27% industry average), physical keyboard (51% vs. 14%) and mouse (27% vs. 6%)

J.D. Power’s vice president of service industries, Jeff Conklin, said, “The Microsoft Surface platform has expanded what tablets can do, and it sets the bar for customer satisfaction. These tablet devices are just as capable as many laptops, yet they can still function as standard tablets. This versatility is central to their appeal and success.”

It was found in the study that 51% of Microsoft customers believe they are usually the first ones in their circle of friends and colleagues to try new technology. This means that the majority of people choose Surface tablets instead of iPads when looking for the newest devices, notes CNBC.

Apple created the modern tablet computer market with the launch of the iPad in 2010. Thereafter, in 2012, Microsoft reinvested the segment by developing convertible tablets. In 2015, Apple then came up with its own convertible, the iPad Pro. It must be noted that though Apple has seen a sharp decline in quarterly tablet sales, it still leads the market. The risk, however, exists for Apple to lose its bigger market share to Microsoft’s tablets.

Other findings from the survey

The study, which was conducted between October and December 2016, was based on a sample of 2,238 U.S. tablet owners who have been using the device for less than a year. Users were asked to rate their tablets on five parameters: style and design, features, cost, performance and ease of operation.

The survey also found that average customer satisfaction with tablets has been rising. At 841, it is higher than the 2016 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study by 21 index points. However, brands like LG, Amazon, Asus and Acer failed to meet this average, with scores of 836, 834, 812 and 814 respectively.

Second, when customers select a tablet, they give the most importance to factors like lower price and past experience, with reputation being the next most important criterion. Third, the average screen length diagonally is important. The larger the screen length, the greater the satisfaction level.

Last, data plans also have much to do with satisfaction level. Customers with data plans had satisfaction levels as high as 863, while those without a plan scored just 834.