According to a new research, Apple’s iPhone 5 received the biggest customer backlash following its launch in 2012.
One in five posts on social networks were critical of Apple’s most recent handset, with the majority of people complaining about the introduction of a new power socket, the inaccuracy of Apple Maps and how similar the phone was to previous models.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 received the least complaints – just 11% – according to figures from analysts We Are Social.
We Are Social scanned Twitter, blogs and forums following the launch of four major handsets – Apple’s iPhone 5 in September 2012, Samsung Galaxy S4 in March 2013, the BlackBerry Z10 launch event in January 2013 and Nokia’s launch of the Lumia 920, first announced in September 2012.
The iPhone 5 came in for a barrage of complaints for everything from its lack of innovation to its new power connector socket and its mapping application.
Apple added a Lightning to 30-pin power socket to the iPhone 5, which meant previous Apple users couldn’t use their older chargers to charge the new device.
Apple then charged extra for an adapter.
Previous iPhones used a Google mapping application but this was replaced with Apple Maps in the iPhone 5.
This led to complaints about misplacement of landmarks, poor satellite images and wrong directions.
Less than two weeks after the launch, Apple issued a statement apologizing for the frustration Apple Maps had caused customers and recommended they try alternative mapping apps.
There were also complaints about picture quality of photos taken on select iPhone 5s, with some customers saying there was a purple discoloration on images.
Other iPhone 5 owners were left angry when the coating on their handset chipped off, exposing bright aluminium underneath.
This became known as “scuffgate” when Apple refused to acknowledge the problem.
Other iPhone 5 users reported that white handsets leaked light behind the screen.
Ed Kitchingman, senior analyst at We Are Social, said: “Brands were often on the receiving end of criticism for their handsets offering nothing new to the previous model.
“The most successful launches were those that captured the consumer’s imagination by talking about the handset’s new and innovative features.
“And while leaks can be an important tool in building success, give away too much and the handset loses its ‘wow’ factor upon launch.”
He said Samsung had the most “wow factor” with 56% of discussions being about new or different features with a particular emphasis on its eye tracking.
In contrast, only 29% of conversations about the iPhone 5 launch were focused on different features as dissent grows about the lack of innovation at Apple.
However, the iPhone 5 was by far the most talked-about launch on social media, with around 1.7 million conversations, compared to 300,000 mentions of the Z10, 140,000 references to the Galaxy S4 and 45,000 comments about the Lumia 920.
The research claims Apple still has the strongest brand loyalty, though, due to 42 per cent of conversations about the iPhone 5 launch based around the Apple brand itself.
Men dominate smartphone launch day conversations with 83% of all mentions coming from men and just 17% generated by women.
On a non-launch day, however, anywhere between 28% and 41% of conversations about mobile phones come from women.
Apple’s next iPhone could be announced on September 10 and go on sale ten days later, according to recent reports.
The phone – dubbed iPhone 5S – is rumored to have internet speeds around ten times as fast as 3G.
Analysts also expect a second, cheaper handset – dubbed iPhone 6 – to be announced as early as September 27.
It will be the first time in Apple’s iPhone history that the company has unveiled two handsets in the same month.
We Are Social’s figures contradict a recent study from Quality Insight in Korea.
The marketing firm surveyed 44,168 people about their handset and the iPhone was rated the best smartphone.
The participants said that the iPhone rarely failed, with only 17% complaining about technical issues with their Apple phone.
This is compared to 31% who reported issues with Samsung phones ranging from battery charging problems to screen quality issues.
Apple’s faults were related to touch or button errors.
How did the four major phone launches comapre?
Number of launch day conversations
iPhone 5 – 1.7 million
BlackBerry Z10 – 300,000
Galaxy S4 – 140,000
Lumia 920 – 45,000
Brand appeal: conversation based around the brand itself
iPhone 5 – 42%
BlackBerry Z10 – 41%
Lumia 920 – 41%
Galaxy S4 – 20%
Brand criticism: comments about the brands with a negative connotation
iPhone 5 – 20%
BlackBerry Z10 – 18%
Lumia 920 – 15%
Galaxy S4 – 11 %
Features: discussions about any new and different features of the handset
Galaxy S4 – 56%
Lumia 920 – 37%
iPhone 5 – 29%
BlackBerry Z10 – 27%