iPhone Tops American Customer Satisfaction Index

The newest American Customer Satisfaction Index is out and, no surprise here, Apple’s iPhone tops the list as the best cellphone out there in terms of customer satisfaction.

Back in 2010, when the iPhone 4 first came out, Steve Jobs told reporters that the phone only had a 1.7% return rate, indicating that people seemed to like the best-selling device.

Now it’s official.

“Apple (iPhone) leads the field by a long shot, while RIM (Blackberry) lags behind as the least satisfying,” the report stated.

This is bad news for the fading RIM, which is pinning all of its hopes on its upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform.

“‘Companies with weak customer satisfaction often have weak stock performance,’ notes [ACSI founder Claes] Fornell. ‘RIM’s sales are slumping amid a bevy of problems, from hardware and software issues to server lapses that have caused email and messaging outages. Over the past year, share price for RIM has virtually collapsed.'”

“At [a rating of] 83 [out of 100], Apple’s iPhone is a game changer when it comes to customer satisfaction. No other cell phone company has ever broken into the 80s. Apple’s nearest competitors this year are three companies tied at 75: Nokia (+3%) and ACSI newcomers LG and HTC,” the report continued.

Surprisingly, Samsung, which makes some of the best selling non-iPhone handsets out there in the form of its Galaxy S series, is “a below-average score of 71.”

The report also contained potential bad news for Google.

“Motorola declines 5% to 73 and ties the aggregate of smaller manufacturers (-1%). This may be unwelcome news for Google as it hopes to make the most of its Motorola acquisition and widen the user base for its Android operating system.”

On the service side, the report also rated carriers, with Sprint Nextel “nominally grab[bing] first place among the big carriers.”