(Bloomberg ) Apple Inc. (AAPL) (AAPL)'s iPhone lost ground to Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) and Google Inc. (GOOG) (GOOG)'s Motorola in an annual study measuring the satisfaction of consumers, following a sales slowdown for the pioneering smartphone.
While the device still had the top ranking among mobile-phone users, Samsung and Motorola have narrowed the gap, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which published its 2013 report today. The iPhone's rating fell 2.4 percent from a year earlier to a score of 81 from 83, while Samsung climbed 7 percent to 76 from 71. Motorola increased 5.5 percent to 77 from 73.
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IPhone sales increased 7 percent in the last quarter, the smallest gain since the phone was introduced in 2007. Samsung, meanwhile, has seen a surge in demand for its devices. The South Korean company captured a third of the global smartphone market in the first quarter -- almost double Apple's 18 percent -- according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
Much of Samsung's success has come from its Galaxy S3, which debuted last May, according to ACSI. Samsung's 7 percent improvement "is the largest yet for any cell-phone manufacturer," the report said. Samsung is now rolling out the follow-up to that device, the Galaxy S4.
Shares of Cupertino, California-based Apple (AAPL) fell 0.7 percent to $439.66 at the close in New York. The stock has slumped 17 percent this year, compared with a 17 percent gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, has seen its stock slip 2 percent to 1,492,000 won in the same period, while Google has climbed 28 percent.
Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman, didn't return a message seeking comment.
In a ranking of wireless carriers, Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) lost its top spot to Verizon Wireless, according to the ACSI survey. After years as the laggard among the top four wireless service providers, Sprint had grabbed the top spot in 2011 and 2012.
While Sprint maintained its 71 score from last year, Verizon Wireless gained 4.3 percent to lead all carriers with a score of 73.
ACSI was founded at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and is produced by ACSI LLC. For its reports, it surveys about 70,000 customers.