Curious J.D. Power report scores 2017 tablet makers by screen size, bundled apps, mouse su...

Posted:
in iPad edited April 7
A curious report from J.D. Power gave Microsoft's Surface brand a higher overall score in comparison to other tablet makers, "largely due to its top rankings in the features and styling & design factors," in particular the size of the screen.


Microsoft has invited Surface compariisons with MacBooks, not iPads


Jeff Conklin, vice president of service industries at J.D. Power, wrote in a press release that Microsoft's "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."

Microsoft's "success" in selling Surface tablets is, on a revenue and unit basis, about the same as it was in 2012 when it entered the market. However, previous J.D. Power tablet rankings (specifically in 2012, 2013 and 2014) didn't appear to include any Surface devices, which are generally considered 2-in-1 hybrid laptops rather than tablets.

Microsoft itself compares its Surface Pro 4 to Apple's MacBooks, rather than to its much cheaper iPad line, and has done so since 2014 (as depicted in the ad above). Comparisons between Surface Pro 4 and Apple's iPad Pro are not flattering in terms of price or performance.

After ranking iPad the top tablet in customer satisfaction in 2012, the firm's 2013 tablet report ranked iPad best in every category apart from price, then assigned a higher score to the lower performing Samsung solely on the basis of cost. In 2014 it gave the title back to iPad.

In its latest report, J.D. Power stated that "Microsoft is the highest performer in three areas: variety of pre-loaded applications; internet connectivity; and availability of manufacturer-supported accessories.




"Microsoft Surface users have the highest incidences of accessory use, which underscores the device's versatility. These accessories include a stylus (48% vs. 27% industry average); physical keyboard (51% vs. 14%); and mouse (27% vs. 6%)."

Apple's iPad, like most other tablets designed after it, does not use a mouse. Further, only Apple's iPad Pro line makes use of a precision drawing device, branded as Apple Pencil, although it could be generally referred to as a "stylus." Because the report only refers to vendors and not specific product lines, it's not clear what iPad models the firm included it its statistics.

J.D. Power also focused on screen size, which it equated to higher satisfaction. "Average screen diagonal among Microsoft customers is highest, at 11.8 inches. Satisfaction is 869 among customers whose screen diagonal is 10 inches or more vs. 850 among those whose screen diagonal is 8-10 inches and 824 among those whose screen diagonal is less than 8 inches."

The cost of a larger screen is not reflected in the single score assigned to each vendor. Apple makes three sizes of iPad, with only its largest iPad Pro comparable to Microsoft's Surface Pro 4. Samsung makes an enormous range of tablets sizes.

J.D. Power also pointed out that "data plans increase satisfaction," stating that "Nearly one-third (32%) of customers have a data plan with their tablet. Overall satisfaction among customers with a data plan is 863 vs. 834 among those without such a plan."

The firm's report says it "measures customer satisfaction with tablets across five factors (in order of importance): performance (28%); ease of operation (22%); features (22%); styling and design (17%); and cost (11%). The 2017 study is based on experiences evaluated by 2,238 tablet owners who have owned their current device for less than one year."

We contacted J.D. Power to clarify some of its findings and are waiting for a response.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    tailstootailstoo Posts: 29member
    I'm sure that Microsoft didn't pay for the recommendation, or anything.  
    SpamSandwichlkruppmwhiteedredmagman1979chasmpscooter63redgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 43
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 1,582member
    So it's curious because The iPad didn't score #1? Hasn't Apple been #1 with this survey before?

    I don't think of Surface as a tablet but I guess because it's multi touch and the keyboard is detachable it's classified as such. 
    blastdoorbrucemcmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 43
    ktappektappe Posts: 702member
    It's been long known that JD Power rankings can be purchased. It appears MS slipped them a million dollars worth of incentives.
    magman1979mac_dogredgeminipawatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 43
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 26,168member
    JD Power is a rating service for hire. I hope people know that.
    dewmemagman1979mac_dogmanfred zornredgeminipawatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 43
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,367member
    JD Power. The whore of 'reviews'
    dewmemagman1979mac_dogrhinotuffredgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 43
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,920member
    JD Power is a rating service for hire. I hope people know that.
    If so how did Apple get top billing in some previous years?. I find it hard to believe Apple would pay for something like that. If this were true then you'd be saying Apple paid for top billing in 2012, Samsung bought  the top spot in 2013, Apple bought it in again for 2014, etc? 
    lkrupprevenantbrucemcmuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 43
    ph382ph382 Posts: 2member
    I don't think that "tablet" and "mouse support" belong in the same sentence.  And no mention of available apps?

    magman1979anomepscooter63revenantbrucemcmuthuk_vanalingamredgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 43
    "Further, only Apple's iPad Pro line makes use of a precision drawing device, branded as Apple Pencil, although it could be generally referred to as a "stylus."

    Let's not kid ourselves here, the Surface Pen has been around longer and is just as good.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,702member
    ktappe said:
    It's been long known that JD Power rankings can be purchased. It appears MS slipped them a million dollars worth of incentives.
    Care to provide any legitimate evidence for such an assertion? I though not.
    muthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 43
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,702member

    So it's curious because The iPad didn't score #1? Hasn't Apple been #1 with this survey before?

    I don't think of Surface as a tablet but I guess because it's multi touch and the keyboard is detachable it's classified as such. 
    It’s all in the narrative to be pushed out.
  • Reply 11 of 43
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,340member
    I think they drew a conclusion and massaged the criteria to get to that conclusion. 

    It sounds like half the criteria is subjective. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 43
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 1,582member
    lkrupp said:

    So it's curious because The iPad didn't score #1? Hasn't Apple been #1 with this survey before?

    I don't think of Surface as a tablet but I guess because it's multi touch and the keyboard is detachable it's classified as such. 
    It’s all in the narrative to be pushed out.
    I don't own a Surface and have no interest in one but I doubt AI would be calling this 'curious' if iPad had taken the top spot.
    blastdoorrevenantbrucemcmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 43
    razormaidrazormaid Posts: 272member
    Can you say Consumer Reports part 2?
     Anyone stupid enough the buy the "sleep of death" for $4,000 deserves listening to this report and buying one. 

    So all of Microsofts ads push "touching the screen" on the laptops and THAT S why they think you shouldn't buy apple. Then these idiots stress "use of mouse" as a reason to purchase?  Head disconnected from body

    edited April 6 magman1979mac_dogretrogustowonkothesanewatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 43
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,609member
    So it's curious because The iPad didn't score #1? Hasn't Apple been #1 with this survey before?

    Yeah, I think that's pretty much it. 

    The big picture issue here is that when it comes to "pro" tablets, Microsoft is offering a product that many people really like and Apple is struggling with the iPad Pro. It's not the iPad Pro that gives Apple the lead in tablet sales, it's the more consumption-oriented non-pro iPads. 

    I think Apple is conceptually correct in arguing that hybrid devices are compromised. But I think Microsoft has been working very hard to refine their implementation of that hybrid device, while Apple has not made as much progress in refining the implementation of their vision of what tablets should be and how they should fit in with our lives. 

    Apple's vision is that you do point-and-click stuff on the device that is best optimized for that UI, you do multitouch on the device best optimized for that UI. I tend to agree with that. BUT -- that approach means that those two devices need to work together seamlessly. 

    To my way of thinking, the iPad Pro is potentially a great companion device to a 27" iMac or a Mac Pro. The iPad is the mobile, multi-touch device; the Mac is the high power precision device. And when they are in the same room together, they should be able to work together to accomplish even more. But that's not really happening, at least not to the extent that it could. 

    It's less clear to me how an iPad Pro complements a MacBook Pro, unless the MacBook Pro is docked to a big monitor, acting more or less as a desktop. 

    brucemc
  • Reply 15 of 43
    DanielEranDanielEran Posts: 110editor
    So it's curious because The iPad didn't score #1? Hasn't Apple been #1 with this survey before?

    I don't think of Surface as a tablet but I guess because it's multi touch and the keyboard is detachable it's classified as such. 
    Curious in that JD Power has been doing this for 6 years, and each report is based on a different set of criteria. Microsoft Surface wasn't in previous reports (despite being more of a tablet 2012-2014 before canceling the whole ARM WinRT thing. Microsoft bills Surface Pro as a MBA competitor.

    Also, not even clear what's being compared. Initial reports were comparing iPad against Kindle, Galaxy Tabs and other iPad-like devices and made cost paramount.

    This year, the criteria shifted to legacy support for a mouse, "bundled apps" not depth or breadth of apps available, and screen size (but not cost).

    Comparing iPad Pro against 2-in-1s makes some sense. Comparing the entire portfolio of Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, LG, Acer and Asus makes little sense, and offers little insight to anyone. Particularly when all that's reported is a subjective, arbitrary finding presented in a "4 of 5 stars" type rating. 

    But you knew all that because you read the article.
    StrangeDayspscooter63patchythepiratemuthuk_vanalingamai46watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 43
    DanielEranDanielEran Posts: 110editor
    blastdoor said:
    So it's curious because The iPad didn't score #1? Hasn't Apple been #1 with this survey before?

    Yeah, I think that's pretty much it. 

    The big picture issue here is that when it comes to "pro" tablets, Microsoft is offering a product that many people really like and Apple is struggling with the iPad Pro. It's not the iPad Pro that gives Apple the lead in tablet sales, it's the more consumption-oriented non-pro iPads. 

    How is apple struggling with iPad Pro? It immediately outsold all Surface sales all by itself. The rest of iPad sales is far beyond what Surface has ever sold.

    From last summer:

     
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 43
    entropysentropys Posts: 644member
    Aren't "bundled apps" bloatware?
    It does not seem battery life and weight as a tablet were criteria either. While AI protesteth too much, I agree JD Power used some weird rankings to get the surface pro even in consideration.

    It is not a great tablet. It is not a great laptop. It's a great crossover device.
    edited April 6 watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 43
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 519member

    "Microsoft Surface users have the highest incidences of accessory use, which underscores the device's versatility. These accessories include a stylus (48% vs. 27% industry average); physical keyboard (51% vs. 14%); and mouse (27% vs. 6%)."

    One of the greatest things about tablets is that you can do so much so well without any input device other than your fingers. I can understand why some people would still want to use a physical keyboard or a stylus for certain things, but using this as a measure of the device's success seems to me kind of like saying that the new MacBook Pro is the best laptop because its owners use more dongles than owners of other computers, which just demonstrates its versatility. An argument could be made for that claim too, but it's kind of ridiculous.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 43
    jungmark said:
    I think they drew a conclusion and massaged the criteria to get to that conclusion. 

    It sounds like half the criteria is subjective. 
    Look at the author
    brucemc
  • Reply 20 of 43
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,609member
    blastdoor said:
    So it's curious because The iPad didn't score #1? Hasn't Apple been #1 with this survey before?

    Yeah, I think that's pretty much it. 

    The big picture issue here is that when it comes to "pro" tablets, Microsoft is offering a product that many people really like and Apple is struggling with the iPad Pro. It's not the iPad Pro that gives Apple the lead in tablet sales, it's the more consumption-oriented non-pro iPads. 

    How is apple struggling with iPad Pro? It immediately outsold all Surface sales all by itself. The rest of iPad sales is far beyond what Surface has ever sold.

    From last summer:

     

    That's a dollar figure, and it doesn't show iPad Pro vs other iPads. 

    From last Fall, the iPad Pro accounts for about 1/3 of iPad unit sales:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/3137457/hardware/apple-leads-tablet-sales-but-the-ipad-pro-is-not-its-best-seller.html ;

    Also, it's actually a little misleading to look just at Surface -- you have to look at all of the 2-in-1 Windows hybrids to see how the MS tablet concept is doing in sales compared Apple's. 

    Don't get me wrong -- I don't find those things compelling myself. But I give Microsoft credit for sticking with it, continuing to refine and improve. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
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