Battery life proves critical, as Samsung comes in third, below the industry average
In smartphones these days, according to J.D. Power and Associates, nothing matters more in terms of customer satisfaction and loyalty that how fast the battery drains.
"Both carriers and manufacturers recognize the fact that battery life needs to be improved," said J.D. Power's Kirk Parsons in a press release issued Thursday. "However, the study uncovers the need for a greater sense of urgency -- short battery life can result in perceived phone problems, higher rates of merchandise returns and customer defections."
Apple (AAPL) has traditionally placed a premium on the iPhone's battery life -- holding off on features (like support for Flash) and new networking technologies to conserve power.
That bet seems to be paying off. The iPhone finished first in J.D. Power's smartphone survey the seventh time in a row, with a score of 839 out of 1,000.
HTC was No. 2 at 798, and Samsung No. 3 at 769, below the industry average.
The hot battery maker has a balance sheet problem -- lots of inventory of expensive EV batteries. It looks like the adoption curve for electric vehicles is flatter than anyone thought.
Battery maker A123 was supposed to rev up the electric vehicle revolution. When the company went public in September 2009, Wall Street loved it. But recently, A123 (AONE) has had a hard time pleasing the Street, missing earnings estimates even MOREShelley DuBois, writer-reporter - Nov 15, 2010 3:00 AM ET
Better Place is working with GE to finance purchases of batteries for its switching stations and electric car system. But since most EVs come with the batteries built in, the financing won't be a panacea for the pricey new cars.
The electric vehicle industry's major hurdle these days is the exact same piece of hardware that's supposed to power it. Batteries for electric cars can cost up to $10,000 a piece. MOREShelley DuBois, writer-reporter - Nov 9, 2010 12:45 PM ET
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