Samsung tops Apple in customer satisfaction

Judging from their popularity, Apple's (AAPL) mobile devices have clearly won consumers' hearts. Whether they're still winning their minds is another issue.

In a national survey of customer satisfaction, Samsung smartphones largely beat out most iPhone models. On a scale of 0 to 100, Samsung had the top-rated phone with the Galaxy Note 4, and three of its devices landed in the top five. Apple's iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 tied for No. 2 with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

Samsung's Galaxy S6 wasn't yet commercially available at the time the poll, so it wasn't included. Also scoring high were the Motorola Moto X and LG's G3.

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ACSI samples consumer attitudes towards products of many categories and companies in many industries.

In general, consumers found mobile phones easy to use for calling and texting and liked phone designs. Software on the devices was considered easier to use than last year and phone menus and settings received higher marks from consumers.

Overall, Samsung was essentially tied in consumers' eyes with Apple as manufacturers of mobile phones. In 2013, Samsung just edged out Apple in ACSI's rating. But the satisfaction scores make clear that neither company can afford to sit on its laurels.

Although BlackBerry and Microsoft (MSFT), with its Nokia acquisition, had relatively strong customer satisfaction ratings, neither placed models in the top 20 phones. That underscores how both have largely become also-rans in the mobile device race.

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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.