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Web listening report on tablet PCs – Apple iPad accounts for nearly half of negative customer comments online with 46% share

Social media research specialist DigitalMR releases latest findings on what customers are saying about tablet PCs on the internet. Customer comments are mainly positive, accounting for 68% of all comments measured. Apple achieves a third of positive comments with 33%, but also records a 46% share of negative ones.

The overwhelming majority of customers are highly positive in their views on tablet PCs as expressed on the internet. DigitalMR measured thousands of comments for slate devices across September-October 2011. Over two thirds (68%) of all views measured were positive with only 32% negative. Apple recorded a 33% share of all positive comments but more worryingly a 46% of the smaller pool of negative ones. Next placed is Amazon with 19% of positive mentions and only 13% of negative, followed by Samsung with 15% of positive mentions and 18% of negative ones.

The high percentage of negative Apple comments is likely to be related to problems that users faced in upgrading to Apple’s new iOS 5 software in October.

Results are based on comments posted by consumers on the major tablet models made by: Apple, Motorola, Samsung, Blackberry, HTC, LG, HP, ASUS, Sony and Amazon across September-October 2011.

DigitalMR’s analysis (powered by SocialNuggets) is based on comments posted via a range of relevant websites and open access social media platforms. It measures, not only the number of comments posted by consumers on the internet, but also their sentiment – whether posts are positive or negative in nature.

Managing Director of DigitalMR, Michalis Michael commented: “Apple’s high negative score shows they may have become a victim of their own success with iOS 5. The free upgrade caused a spike in demand, leading many users to complain on forums that they kept getting error messages and that the download was taking too long.”

All the brands measured, achieve a positive Net Sentiment Score (NSS) for Sep-Oct. NSS provides an overall percentage score of net positive posts. A positive score means a tablet attracts a higher proportion of positive than negative posts.

The average NSS taken across all brands measured is 36% which is very high compared with other industry sectors.  This is good news for the tablet industry as it shows that generally customers and very satisfied with their products and are happy to spread the word online.

However Apple achieves the lowest NSS of 21%, just below Motorola with 22%. The best NSS scores are achieved by newer entrants to the market achieve. Sony is top with 87% (although this is based on a relatively low number of mentions overall) followed by Asus with 73%.

DigitalMR measured thousands of customer posts across Sep-Oct regarding the features that tablets offer. The most talked about features (both positively and negatively) are “operating system” (18% share of positive comments vs 30% negative) and “application” (20% positive vs 21% negative).


Summary of positive and negative posts and overall NSS:

Summary of Positive posts for Tables

Summary of Negative posts for Tables

Overall Net Sentiment Score For Tablets


In their words – Customer comments for models with the highest and lowest Net Sentiment Scores.


“I have been using my Sony Tablet S for a couple of days and it's awesome”.

“Well I have been trying to decide what tablet I want to go with for months, price was a consideration but it was more or less about the Specs of the tablet and support. I picked up my new tablet last Wednesday. I went and got the Sony S Tablet. It does tons of things I wanted and more”.


“I think Asus may have hit on something with this design and for the price quoted. It fills a very sparse ultra-portable, yet affordable market, especially useful for business use where sometimes you need a table”.

“It’s not designed to be simply a tablet; it's designed for those who need to do serious typing on the move - emailing or blogging etc. Perfect for travellers”.


“I regret ever having purchased the thing. I do not like the games Motorola has played with me on the device and I do not like the fact that my Xoom has sat somewhere since October 5 all because Motorola hasn't seen fit to send me my device back”

“This morning is the second time that my Motorola Xoom has frozen up on me since I received it back from Motorola after the 4G LTE upgrade. Has anyone else had problems with this? I never had any problems whatsoever with this tablet prior to the upgrade”.


“I agree with previous two reviewers - IPAD that worked perfectly, now doesn't work at all since upgrade, a total waste of money. More than the money, disappointment at being unable to send photos home to loved ones".

“Is there any technical reason a smaller device would cost less to build? Sounds like same components just a smaller screen so a touch less raw material, but miniaturizing tends to cost more not less”.

How can tablet brands use social media to their advantage?

Tablets can use analysis of data from websites and other social media in the following ways:

  • Engage in a one-to-one dialogue with their customers and respond to negative comments.
  • Invite some of the customers to join online forums and chat groups to further express their views.
  • Positive sentiment can be leveraged in advertising.
  • Operations can learn about and fix specific retail and product performance issues.
  • Products can be adjusted, and new ones designed to meet customer needs.


About the syndicated smartphone report

DigitalMR produces monthly reports which monitor thousands of customers’ online conversations through comments posted on open-access social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, forums, blogs, microblogs and commercial websites, for comments regarding smartphone services.

The report is available on annual subscription with updates provided on a quarterly, monthly or weekly basis. Results will be updated to the press on a monthly basis.


For regular reports and more information:

Michalis A. Michael,
tel: +44 751 571 0370


About DigitalMR
DigitalMR understands what people think and feel when they share views online. It is a specialist agency which provides a holistic approach to web based market research. It specialises in utilising social media research, especially active web-listening, and online communities to enhance its business consulting approach. The agency has pioneered new methods in online focus groups alongside tools such as video diaries, bulletin boards and online ethnography. DigitalMR is headed by founder and MD, Michalis Michael and has offices in London UK, Nicosia Cyprus, and Columbus Ohio, in the US.


About SocialNuggets
SocialNuggets technology delivers real-time market intelligence for fast moving industries by analyzing data from various social media sources with a mission to liberate social media data and sentiment analysis for use in real-time research of brands, products and features. SocialNuggets delivers ready to use market intelligence for various industry verticals including consumer electronics and banking. SocialNuggets data is delivered in bite size, ready-to-consume, infographics and is also available in the form of a full access to our data warehouse for analysis and integration with customers’ data. SocialNuggets, a Serendio company, was founded in 2011 with headquarters in Santa Clara, CA.



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