Microsoft's Bet on User Experience Begins to Pay Off in Wearables and Tablets, Threatening Apple’s Position as Most Delightful Brand

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Argus Insights Battle of the Brands report reveals that while Apple and Microsoft delight, consumers are more disappointed in Google and Amazon hardware overall.

Apple attracts the happiest consumers, while Google products are causing disappointment (delight represents likelihood of consumer promotion, based on consumer reviews)

'Over the past year, we have watched Microsoft’s success in devices poking holes in Apple's walls with their tablet and wearables offerings,' says John Feland, CEO, Argus Insights.

The consumer electronics market is dominated by Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung. Apple is leading the pack with its thriving ecosystem and refined hardware offerings, but the “Battle of the Brands: September 2015 - Making Sense of the Mad Dash for Mindshare” report from Argus Insights notes that Microsoft’s delight measure has been growing over the last 9 months and is now a strong number two.

Pulling from feedback of over 942,000 consumer reviews from January-September 2015, this report details the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular offerings from these major brands. (Report is here: Apple continues to delight consumers more than the other brands due to their focus on an integrated user experience, while Google Nexus devices and the Amazon Fire TV Stick fail to delight consumers despite the strong positioning of their service offerings. Microsoft appears ripe to disrupt Apple’s hold across markets with increasingly impactful Smartphones, Fitness Band, and Surface Tablets. Samsung has been especially hard hit by the most recent iPhone launch.

“Apple has created a Walled Garden with its all-star mix of hardware and software. But over the past year, we have watched Microsoft’s success in devices poking holes in Apple's walls with their tablet and wearables offerings," says John Feland, CEO, Argus Insights. “Unlike Google and Amazon, which offer inexpensive hardware offerings meant to entice more consumers to visit their gardens more often, Microsoft has focused on crafting new experiences built on solid hardware that is delighting consumers. Samsung, without a strong content play, is just leasing space in the gardens of other brands.”

The new report details buzz and delight by product segment for each brand specifically, and details demand projections in the form of Demand Scorecards for each brand’s most popular products as of September 2015.

Highlights from the Brand Deep Dives in the report:

  • Smart Home offerings like SmartThings from Samsung or Nest from Google are dragging down consumer brand perceptions. Only the Amazon Echo is adding to a brand’s balance of social capital.
  • Early analysis of the iPhone 6S launch finds that consumer demand of the 6S line is lower than that of the iPhone 6 from September 2014. This is unlikely to have a significant impact on their Q3 earnings given pent up demand.
  • Samsung is failing to delight users across multiple fronts and has seen a significant drop as a result of the new iPhones launched in September.
  • While Google owns Android's ecosystem, their branded Nexus hardware just delivers ‘good enough’ to consumers, a bar being raised by Microsoft and Apple.

About Argus Insights & Methodology

Argus Insights is founded on the fact that mindshare anticipates demand. Through curated analysis of global consumer reviews and social media conversations, the firm provides comprehensive visibility at market, product, and attribute levels to determine what is delighting and disappointing the market. Customers take action on our insights to deliver better products, more impactful launches, create forecasts, perform competitive analysis, and track events and analyst relations.

Argus Insights is Silicon Valley’s first big data driven Market Coach. Recognizing that companies are constantly striving to achieve and sustain market fit in the face of competitive threats and shifting customer preferences, Argus Insights continuously monitors and analyzes millions of consumer touchpoints with their patent pending technology to measure the degree to which products satisfy market demand.

Argus Insights provides well-established and developing companies from Fortune 100 to small startups with information on market fit. We publish monthly market fit reports for a variety of B2B and B2C markets immediately at the month’s close while other firms force clients to wait a month or more for results. Take action today, visit

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Erica Zeidenberg
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