Just hours after disclosing the upcoming retirement of Communications VP Katie Cotton, Apple has disclosed that Vice President of Sales for North America is, too, leaving Apple. Apple VP Doug Beck, who currently runs sales for Japan and Korea, will add North America to his portfolio of responsibilities. Apple told the WSJ: Read more
Earlier this week we told you that Apple had announced an upcoming sale in many of its Asian online stores to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year taking place at the end of January. The sales see Apple offering discounts in China, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia online stores similar to deals on offer for Black Friday in the US and other countries.
This year Apple is offering cash discounts on the usual products— up to $40 off iPads, $100 off Macs, and smaller discounts on iPods and Smart Covers— it’s also offering a rare discount on iPhones at around $50 off both the iPhone 5s and 5c. In addition, a much larger selection of accessories are on sale compared to the company’s Black Friday sale including popular products from Parrot, Apogee, Belkin, LaCie, and Apple.
We’re used to seeing Apple at the top of customer satisfaction surveys– it even promotes its multiple JD Power wins as the highest ranked smartphone and tablet on its website. However, the latest numbers from the American Customer Satisfaction Index has Samsung taking the lead from Apple, at least when it comes to smartphones.
In May, the ACSI report, which surveys over 70k US consumers, showed Apple continued its lead for customer satisfaction, but Samsung was quickly closing the gap. The new ACSI report covering only smartphones shows Samsung has since been able to surpass iPhone thanks to strong scores from its Galaxy S III and Note II:
Samsung’s flagship model for 2012, the S III, receives an ACSI benchmark of 84 (on a 0 to 100 scale), beating Apple’s iPhone 5 at 82, the company’s most recent smartphone offering. Another Samsung model, Note II, shares the top of list at 84. Galaxy S4 is not included because the ACSI study was fielded just prior to its launch.
Apple still takes the top spot in many countries, including Samsung’s home territory, and also continues to lead in overall customer satisfaction outside of the smartphone category:
While U.S. customers give Samsung’s smartphones the top scores, Korean consumers prefer Apple. According to the National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI) in South Korea, which uses the same technology as the ACSI, the iPhone 5 has higher customer satisfaction than Galaxy S III… Unlike Apple, which has a smartphone-only lineup, Samsung offers both feature and smartphones. At 76, Samsung continues to lag Apple for overall customer satisfaction. Nevertheless, the company’s 7% gain in 2013 is a clear reflection of the strength of Galaxy S III.
Another somewhat surprising result today, and one T-Mobile’s John Legere definitely won’t be happy about, is JD Power’s 2013 wireless customer service satisfaction survey. Coming out on top for the first time is AT&T, ranking the highest in customer service and many other categories in the survey, and followed by Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile: Read more
While most are expecting Apple to include the rumored LTE connectivity in the upcoming next-gen iPhone, we get word from Korea Times today that Korean carriers SK Telecom and KT have revealed they are currently in talks with Apple to carry a new iPhone on their LTE networks:
SK Telecom and KT are in talks to offer long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity on Apple’s next handset, tentatively named the iPhone 5, officials from the companies said Wednesday…The two local telecom companies are authorized Korean partners to sell the American firm’s i-branded devices here. The smallest carrier LG Uplus is unable to sell Apple’s products as it doesn’t own a suitable frequency.
According to an official at KT, which is home to roughly 1.4 million users compared to SK Telecom’s 4 million LTE subscribers, the carrier is in talks “with Apple to persuade the latter to support KT’s 1.8-gigahertz frequency in Korea for the upcoming iPhone.” Although it’s unclear exactly what type of negotiations might be taking place, we know the current third-gen LTE iPad supports only AT&T, Verizon, and a few Canadian carriers on 700 MHz and 2100 MHz frequency bands. If the talks are indeed to discuss launching an LTE iPhone with support for the 800 MHz and 1800 MHz bands, it’s importnat to note that many other markets also operate over those bands including Australia and parts of Europe.
[UPDATE July 19, 2011 8:10 Eastern]: The article has been updated with a comment from Samsung included at the bottom. In addition, an Asian Economy story establishing family bonds between the case maker’s CEO and Samsung’s chairman, provided in the comments, has been added.
Apple is suing “the copyist” Samsung because they “imitate the appearance of Apple’s products to capitalize on Apple’s success”. Be that as it may, the similarities between the two tech giant’s gadgets are nothing compared to what other Asian knockoffs are doing for a living. Like Anymode Corp., which is in the business of designing, manufacturing and selling a blatant Smart Cover rip-off, pictured above and below. Conveniently dubbed the Smart Case – obviously because Apple trademarked it – the accessory comes in five pastel color choices. It too can prop a tablet upwards and it folds like Apple’s accessory as well. The Smart Case is designed exclusively for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 – and not by a coincidence, warns our reader Jun.
Apparently Sang-yong Kim, the Anymode CEO, was “born in Samsung family”. Jun tells us – and you’re free to take it at face value – that the Anymode CEO “is nephew of the Samsung’s chairman Kun-Hee Lee“, the claim we were unable to verify at the time of this writing. UPDATE: This Asian Economy article establishes family bonds between Sang-yong Kim and Kun-Hee Lee. The 69-year old chairman of Samsung Electronics stepped down in April 2008 amid the Slush funds scandal, but returned at the group’s helm in March of last year. He is credited for improving the quality of Samsung’s design and products. Anymode is not even attempting to conceal the Samsung link. The company describes itself on a LinkedIn page as…