NPD: Genius Bar, stellar tech support keep Apple product owners coming back for more

Ah, the Genius Bar: It’s (mostly) free, it’s accessible, and nine out of 10 Apple product owners love it.

The latest research from NPD Group indicates folks are willing to buy multiple Apple devices primarily due to their pleasant experience at the Genius Bar. A whopping 90 percent, in fact, said they were “extremely or very satisfied” following their experience. The approval rate is primarily attributed to 88 percent of those Genius Bar consumers receiving complimentary service.

According to NPD Group’s Tech Services Study:

That service left almost all of the 40 percent of Apple owners who took their Apple devices to the Genius Bar very happy. Nearly 90 percent of consumers who used Apple’s tech service said they were extremely or very satisfied. In contrast, top 2 box satisfaction among all consumer service interactions was 78 percent. A major part of their satisfaction came from the fact that only a small percentage actually paid for their service. According to the report, 88 percent of Genius Bar consumers said their service was free compared to 78 percent of all consumers.

The majority of the support was for troubleshooting (37 percent), followed by product repair (28 percent), how-to support (18 percent), software installation/upgrade (11 percent), and product installation/set-up (7 percent).

Apple product consumers also approve the retail giant’s tech support offerings. Sixty percent of consumers claimed they were “somewhat or much more likely” to make another purchase following their experience, while another 31 percent admitted they had a “much more positive view” of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company after their service. However, as the study noted, “physical presence is key.” Fifty-three percent of consumers were extremely satisfied with in-store encounters versus other types of interactions, but 45 percent of younger consumers still preferred virtual communications.

These statistics are interesting, especially considering yesterday’s report from IFOAppleStore. It claimed then-COO Tim Cook and current CFO Peter Oppenheimer pushed former Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Ron Johnson toward revenues over customer satisfaction when then-CEO Steve Jobs was on medical leave in 2009. Moreover, Apple has maintained new policies —despite wide-spread criticism over recent retail layoffs— that reflect budget cuts with an emphasis on revenue. With this outlook, it surely won’t be long until tech support experiences start falling by the wayside.

NPD gathered responses from over 2,000 adults via an online survey in May 2012.

More stats are available in the press release below. 

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NPD: Apple grabs almost a fifth of all holiday consumer electronics sales, Apple Stores second only to Best Buy and Walmart in revenue

Apple’s $46.33 billion dollar holiday quarter and the 73+ million shipped Macs and iOS devices are clear standouts in the newest NPD research note exposing Apple as the only brand to have grown sales in the all-important holiday quarter. The same cannot be said for rivals Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Sony, and Dell, which all experienced missteps in holiday-quarter gadget sales. Five consumer electronics categories (PCs, TVs, tablets/e-readers, mobile phones and video game hardware) drove nearly 60 percent of all sales in 2011. Apple’s share of total revenue across these five important categories rose 36 percent year-over-year, according to NPD.

As a result, Macs, iPhones, iPods, iPads, Apple TVs and the company’s other consumer electronics gear accounted for 19 percent of all sales dollars. That is almost twice as much as No. 2 Hewlett-Packard. HP’s, Samsung’s, Sony’s and Dell’s sales dipped 3 percent, 6 percent, 21 percent, and 17 percent, respectively. Apple Retail was No. 3 in terms of revenue, right after No. 1 Best Buy and second-ranked Walmart. Staples and Amazon tied for fourth place to round out the top five—a repeat of 2010.

By the way, did you notice which two consumer electronics categories lack a dedicated Apple offering?

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Apple becomes the top smartphone vendor in US as Siri helps iPhone 4S outsell iPhone 4 by 75 percent

We saw the Android-iOS duopoly coming last summer. Now, the effects of this incredibly tight chokehold are becoming painfully evident to virtually every handset maker sans Apple and Samsung. According to a fresh NPD survey from this morning, during the fourth quarter of 2011 Android and Apple together accounted for over 90 percent of smartphone sales in the United States. No wonder RIM is sliding fast. The remaining 10 percent is up for grabs.

Apple, which seized the No. 1 crown from Samsung last quarter, and leapt past Samsung and LG to become the best-selling U.S. handset brand, according to NPD. The iPhone maker grabbed 43 percent of all U.S. smartphone sales, while Android devices accounted for 48 percent of devices. First-time buyers prefer Android (57 percent) to iPhone (34 percent). Smartphones in Q4 represented 68 percent of all cell phones in the U.S., up from 50 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Some perspective: HTC today reported fourth-quarter results and blamed Samsung and Apple for a 26 percent income drop. What’s more, HTC devices are nowhere to be seen on NPD’s list of the top five best-selling devices in the U.S.

Read below for more highlights…

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NPD: During October-November, iPhone 4S boosts Apple’s U.S. smartphone share, now within spitting distance of Android

In what is perhaps surprising to some, Apple’s iPhone 4S is turning the tables in the heated smartphone competition between Apple and Google, latest data from NPD reveals. Focusing on U.S. smartphone data for October and November, the research firm found out that iOS increased its operating system share of U.S. smartphone sales substantially while the Android platform lost significant ground to Apple (via Fortune). Yes, data only includes sales of smartphones, not tablets.

The Cupertino, California-headquartered iPhone maker is now within spitting distance of Google with only four percentage points of difference. iOS was close to doubling its share of the U.S. smartphone market, climbing from 26 percent in the third quarter of 2011 all the way up to 43 percent in October and November. During the same timeframe, Android fell from 60 percent to 47 percent.

Collectively, the two rival platforms grabbed an astounding 90 percent of U.S. smartphone sales. Moreover, the top three best-selling smartphones on NPD’s holiday list belonged to Apple, the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. What a difference a few weeks of sales make. Another interesting chart and more findings can be found right after the break.
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