Surprise: Nokia beats Samsung on smartphone customer satisfaction

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ChangeWave Research buried an interesting nugget at the end of a release about a recent cell phone survey: Nokia (just barely) beat Samsung in customer satisfaction.

Nokia users who said they were "very satisfied" with their phones hit 56 percent, just barely squeaking by the 55 percent of Samsung users who said they are very satisfied. Both continue to lose out to Apple, which had 70 percent of users very satisfied. The survey questioned 4,000 people primarily in North America.

Nokia has Windows Phone to thank. Windows Phone ranked higher than Android among platforms in customer satisfaction, with 53 percent of Windows Phone users saying they're very satisfied compared to 48 percent for Android. Apple beats them both, again, with 71 percent of users saying they're very satisfied. RIM took fourth place with 26 percent.

The folks at Nokia and Microsoft are surely pleased to see this, but we haven't seen Q4 market share stats yet, so we don't know if Windows Phone 8 -- the latest version of the platform --  is translating into better sales yet. In the third quarter of 2012, Nielsen reports that Windows Phone had just 2 percent market share. Meanwhile, Samsung is now the world's top smartphone maker, having passed Apple earlier this year.

Nokia and other non-Android phone makers would do well to keep pace with the trend toward larger devices, though. ChangeWave researchers were surprised that among Samsung fans, 23 percent wanted the Galaxy Note II, which has a 5.5 inch screen. That "impressive" demand "suggests the era of large-sreen smart phones is upon us," ChangeWave wrote.

The survey also found that that 27 percent of people said they were interested in devices with screens of 5 inches or larger. That's still just half the number who wanted a screen with 4.0 to 4.9 inches. 

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