Despite the demand for larger, sharper smartphone displays, iPhone SE has beaten out all other smartphones to top the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
Just two of Apple’s devices placed in the top five, and with a score of 87 out of 100, iPhone SE took the number one spot ahead of iPhone 7 Plus and the Galaxy S7 series.
First unveiled in March 2016, iPhone SE packs iPhone 6s specifications into the small and slender shell of the iPhone 5. Its 4-inch display was aimed at consumers who wanted a compact handset, but didn’t want to settle for aging internals.
Over a year later, the device hasn’t changed much. Apple doubled the storage options to 32GB and 128GB back in March, but everything else remained the same. Despite that, iPhone SE was ranked higher than iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and all other rivals.
Its score of 87 points narrowly edged out the Galaxy S6 edge+ and iPhone 7 Plus, which both scored 86. The Galaxy S6 edge and Galaxy S7 series scored 85 and 84 points respectively, while the iPhone 7 scored 83. iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s remain on the list with 80 points apiece.
“Over the past few years, the general trend for smartphones has been toward larger screens,” says ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg. “But apparently, consumers were craving a new iteration of a smaller, less expensive phone as the iPhone SE – Apple’s first update to a 4-inch phone since 2013 – comes in first in ACSI this year.”
The scores were based on interviews with 36,194 customers in the U.S., chosen at random between May 2016 and April 2017. Some of this year’s most exciting flagships — like the LG G6 and the Galaxy S8 — weren’t on sale in time to be included.
There have been few rumors about Apple making more significant improvements to the iPhone SE this year, though it could surprise us with a new model alongside the iPhone 8 this September. It’s clear there’s still plenty of demand for its smallest, most affordable iPhone.