Starwatch Consumer

Apple’s iPhone loses ground in consumer satisfaction study

Updated: 2013-12-31T18:19:56Z

Apple’s competition

Apple’s iPhone lost ground to Samsung Electronics and Google’s Motorola in an annual study measuring the satisfaction of consumers after a sales slowdown for the pioneering smartphone.

While the device still had the top ranking among mobile phone users, Samsung and Motorola have narrowed the gap, according to the 2013 American Customer Satisfaction Index.

The iPhone’s rating fell 2.4 percent from a year earlier to a score of 81 from 83, while Samsung climbed 7 percent to 76 from 71. Motorola increased to 77 from 73.

Teens and Twitter

A new poll finds that teens are sharing more about themselves on social media. They are also moving increasingly to Twitter to avoid their parents and the “oversharing” that they see on Facebook.

In the Pew Research Center poll, 94 percent of teens who are social media users have a profile on Facebook, flat from the previous year. Twenty-six percent of teen social media users were on Twitter, more than double the 2011 figure of 12 percent.

In focus groups, teens said there were too many adults on Facebook and too much sharing of inane details, like what a friend ate for dinner.

Help for veterans

The Small Business Administration said it has lined up pledges from more than 120 banks to increase lending to veterans.

The agency said it is starting a program, the SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative, aimed at increasing lending to veteran-owned businesses by 5 percent a year for the next five years.

The 20 major banks known as SBA National Lending Partners are making the pledge along with about 100 regional banks.

Greyhound prices

Greyhound has turned to pricing models used by the airline industry as it seeks a ticketing system capable of boosting profitability by charging more for travel during peak periods.

The British company that owns Greyhound said it will spend as much $40 million on technology to replace Greyhound’s flat-rate charging plan.

Subaru on top

The Subaru Forester compact sport utility vehicle beat Honda’s CR-V and other rivals in testing by Consumer Reports, which ranked the model as its top pick in that segment.

The 2014 model’s “space-efficient design, large windows and big square doors” and other features helped it outscore CR-V, Toyota’s RAV4 and Mazda’s CX-5, Consumer Reports said.

Falling debt

Consumers borrowed less on their credit cards in the first three months of this year, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.

Average credit card debt per borrower fell 1.7 percent to $4,878 in the first quarter from $4,962 in the same period last year.

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