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December 5th, 2012

Prompt survey: Why do consumers favor Apple over Microsoft? And is the computer mouse heading for extinction?

Prompt survey: Why do consumers favor Apple over Microsoft? And is the computer mouse heading for extinction?

Mobile device survey finds Apple iPad 2, iPad mini and iPhone 5 rank above competing devices from Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, while the mouse is alive and well

5 December 2012 – Prompt Communications, a transatlantic copywriting, PR and social digital communications agency, has conducted a survey of consumers to unveil opinions of mobile devices, brands, computer mice and Windows 8.

The survey, conducted online and in-person, asked consumers which brands they preferred, which brands they considered to be the most ‘innovative’, and which products they thought were the most exciting launches of 2012. Respondents were given the opportunity to provide opinions on product features, their personal tablet wish-list, and the future of the mouse.

Apple was named as the most popular and innovative technology company, beating industry rivals Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, with 40% of respondents naming Apple’s iPad 2, iPad mini or the iPhone 5 as the most exciting launch of 2012. Apple was followed by Samsung, with almost a fifth of respondents (18%) voting for its Galaxy S3 or Galaxy Note, followed by 14% in favor of Microsoft’s new Surface tablets.

When told they could “ask Santa for one tablet-like device for Christmas”, 40% said they would put an Apple iPad on their list, 18% opted for a Microsoft Surface; 15% chose an Apple iPad mini, and just 6% said they’d ask Santa for a Google Nexus. On the topic of the computer mouse and whether it is heading for extinction, a surprising 69% said that they didn’t think it was, although a third of respondents (29%) did believe the mouse was living on borrowed time.

The survey also asked consumers to score Apple and Microsoft in a range of categories spanning products, services and reputation, and found:

  • In retail Apple ranked highest against Microsoft thanks to its App Store with 96% of consumers choosing Apple, compared to just 4% of users selecting Microsoft
  • In marketing Apple scored 93% against Microsoft’s 7%
  • For hardware design 78% chose Apple compared to just over a fifth (22%) opting for Microsoft
  • For operating systems, 62% of consumers said Apple’s OS was best, with 38% voting for Microsoft
  • In usability 60% of consumers preferred the Apple, compared to Microsoft’s 40%
  • However, Microsoft was favored over Apple when it came to corporate compatibility with 77% of respondents preferring Microsoft devices for ‘business use’.   

When asked about Microsoft’s new Windows 8 launch, around two-thirds (61%) said it was “just another ordinary Windows update”, while almost a quarter of respondents said it was “a big fuss about nothing”. However, 15% did say they thought the launch was “revolutionary”.

The device market looks set to swell further through fresh partnerships, such as that recently forged by Google and Samsung. Apple may have 100 million tablets on the market today, but it’s estimated that by the end of 2014 Android shipments will exceed that of iOS devices. With further market complexity, any resulting buyer confusion could mean a black mark not only for one vendor, but for an OS, or the market itself.

Hazel Butters, CEO of Prompt, said: “In the tablet and smartphone market, companies are constantly looking for ways to become more innovative and to aggressively increase their market share. Meanwhile consumers are becoming increasingly aware of what products are available and the features they are looking for, while gaining a deeper understanding of comparable benefits. A responsibility lies with vendors to be clearer about specs, features and benefits, and to help consumers to navigate the maze of new mobile devices. Clarity, common English and transparency are crucial.”

Hazel concluded: “The one thing that surprises me is that more people didn’t say that the mouse is headed for extinction. Perhaps computer users have an emotional attachment – personally I work at a touchscreen computer, a laptop with a touchpad, a tablet and a smartphone – all without a mouse in sight. But I still carry one around in my handbag – perhaps I’m just sentimental.”

Would you like to weigh in with your own opinions? We’d love to hear them, and the survey is still open. Please click here to share views on tablets, mice and your holiday wish-list.

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