While on the marketshare front, Windows Phone still lags behind iOS, Android, and even RIM, it has surpassed Android and tied with — but in some categories, surpassed — iOS according to readers of PC Magazine.
According to the results of their 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards (the smartphones and mobile carriers category), Windows Phone gained 0.6 points from its rating of 8.1 last year; a pretty substantial jump, to say the least. Apple’s score gained 0.3 points from its score of 8.4 last year, and Android remained at 7.9. In terms of overall satisfaction, Microsoft and Apple have tied at 8.7, but Windows Phone slightly beat iOS in reliability, text messaging, web browsing, and gaming. iOS, however, was substantially favored over Windows Phone for its app quality and availability, along with its music playing functionality.
Windows Phone also boasted the lowest rate of 20% when it came to users needing technical support with their device, compared to 25% for iOS and a whopping 32% with Android. Here is how PC Mag summed up the Windows Phone platform:
You may not see many people using Windows Phone handsets yet, but those who chose this route are very happy. Clearly, Microsoft needs to get more app developers on board to gain traction, but in every other aspect we measured, it’s providing a winning experience.
However, despite people’s satisfaction with the platform, they didn’t seem too keen on recommending the devices to friends compared to Apple and Android users. In terms of how likely users were to recommend their device to others, Apple received a 9.2, Android received an 8.2, while Windows Phone was only 0.1 points higher. This may have something to do with app quality and availability reasons; perhaps people using Windows Phone now are early adopters, and know that their smartphone-seeking friends would hate to not be able to use apps such as Instagram or Path.