Matthew Panzarino got some responses from J.D. Power that really don’t explain much. Apparently, we’re not supposed to do math on the values in that 5-dot chart:
First off, the “power circle” chart that’s being widely circulated is simply a visual tool, and not representative of the actual scores given to the brands evaluated in its survey.
Given that there’s no way that the “power circle” chart can be accurate if Samsung “won”, J.D. Power had to say this. But what they’re really admitting, at best, is that they published an extremely inaccurate and misleading chart under the guise of survey results. For a market-research firm, this is a sleazy Fox News move indicating either extreme negligence or malice.
[J.D. Power spokesman Kirk Parsons] said that the differential between the price category scores of the iPad and the score of the Samsung tablets that were included in the survey was large enough to “more than offset” the score in the other four categories. …
Many comparable Apple and Samsung models are priced identically or very closely. To overcome losing in every other category, Samsung would need to have a huge price advantage across their entire tablet line.
And if price is worth enough to overcome large deficiencies in every other category, why didn’t Amazon win?
Parsons declined to share the exact price ranges of the tablets included in the study. Of note: Apple also scored the same two power circles on the first study earlier this year, which it aced, and which applied the same metrics and questions.
Interesting. Same scores, different conclusion.
The more likely story is that J.D. Power tweaked the survey’s scope to get the result they wanted to publish. By restricting the survey to certain models, price ranges, and survey respondents, and then denying that their published comparison chart has any mathematical relation to the scores, they can justify almost any manufacturer “winning”.
Why might they want to say that Samsung’s tablets are better than Apple’s?
Samsung spends a ton of money on marketing — far more than Apple — and frequently employs unethical marketing techniques. Apple isn’t known to play ball very well with the enterprise analyst or market-research rackets, which often implicitly require companies to pay for their high-end services in order for them to recommend the companies’ products. And publishing a conclusion like this gets J.D. Power a lot of attention in a market that the internet is constantly making less relevant.
With even their apparently arbitrary chart denying their conclusion and the numbers not making much sense, it’s at best a desperate stretch. They’re not even good at this game.
J.D. Power is as credible as Consumer Reports now.