According to a recent study by J.D. Power some odd patterns emerge potentially linking a particular smartphone with a particular carrier in the minds of the consumer. According to the study, consumers might actually rank their satisfaction with carrier based upon the brand of smartphone they use. Some interesting trends emerged which suggest that customers who use the iPhone typically prefer AT&T or Verizon, while customers who primarily use Samsung phones appreciate Sprint or T-Mobile more. There's obviously a little more to it than just that, but the results are fascinating.

Here's their press release,

Both Apple and Samsung Lead in Overall Satisfaction Performance among the U.S. Wireless Tier 1 Carriers, Excelling in All Smartphone Experience Factors

Apple Smartphone Devices Rank Highest among Customers of AT&T and Verizon Wireless Carriers; Samsung Ranks Highest among Sprint and T-Mobile Customers

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 17 October 2013 – Apple and Samsung are the only smartphone brands to achieve overall satisfaction scores that are at or above the study average in all four performance factors, according to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Satisfaction StudySM–Volume 2 released today.

- Overall satisfaction with smartphone devices is highest among AT&T customers (843), followed by Sprint (835); T-Mobile (825); and Verizon Wireless (825) customers1.
- Among Apple smartphone owners, satisfaction with their overall experience is highest among Verizon Wireless customers (861). Among Samsung smartphone owners, satisfaction is highest among Sprint customers (853).

- Smartphone models that perform particularly well across all four U.S. wireless Tier 1 carriers[1] include (by OEM in alphabetical order): Apple iPhone 5; Blackberry Z10; Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy Note II.

- The primary reasons for purchasing a smartphone device differ by carrier. Sprint customers are more likely to purchase their smartphone device because of phone features, while T-Mobile customers are more likely to select their smartphone due to price.
- Overall customer satisfaction among smartphone owners is 833 on a 1,000-point scale.

“It’s very interesting to see that satisfaction performance differs by smartphone brand across Tier 1 carriers,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at J.D. Power. “This indicates that carrier services and how these carriers position specific features and services on their devices influence the experience customers have with their smartphone device.”

The 2013 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Satisfaction Study–Volume 2 is based on experiences evaluated by 16,421 smartphone customers who have owned their current smartphone device less than one year and who are customers of the four Tier 1 carriers. The study was fielded between February and August 2013. The study measures customer satisfaction in four factors: performance (33%); physical design (23%); features (22%); and ease of operation (22%).

1 Ranking calculations have changed from previous studies and is now based on Tier 1 carrier customer base instead of by overall OEM smartphone brand.

[1] A Tier 1 carrier includes the four national wireless providers in the U.S. including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.