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J.D. Power and Associates today released its first 2013 mobile and smartphone customer satisfaction survey. Notably, Apple, for the ninth consecutive time, has ranked the highest in smartphone customer satisfaction with the iPhone.

For the ninth consecutive study, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones in customer satisfaction. Apple achieves a score of 855 and performs particularly well in physical design and ease of operation.

Specifically, the firm says the iPhone tops the competition in terms of design and ease of operation.

The study also notes what smartphone users consider most important in their devices:

For smartphones, the key factors are performance (33%); physical design (23%); features (22%); and ease of operation (22%).

The iPhone’s score of 855 is out of 1000. The report says that the average smartphone satisfaction score for this study is 796. Thanks to the many improvements and innovations in the smartphone landscape over the past year, this average is 20 points higher than the year-ago 2012 study.

Last week, following the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4, Apple highlighted that the iPhone has won the top J.D. Power smartphone satisfaction rating eight reports in a row.

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