Siri plays a big part in iPhone 4S owner satisfaction

How much do you love your iPhone 4S(s aapl)? Chances are the answer is “a lot.” New ChangeWave research data shows owner satisfaction with the iPhone 4S is much higher than that of the iPhone 4, with 96 percent approval ratings and only 2 percent reporting dissatisfaction with their devices.

The iPhone 4S is more beloved than its predecessor, the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 also scored highly shortly after its introduction back in July 2010, but it fell short of the 4S’ lofty heights. The iPhone 4 satisfied 93 percent of respondents, with 72 percent reporting being “very satisfied” and 21 percent saying they were “somewhat satisfied.” The 4S had 77 percent of users report being “very satisfied” and 19 percent say they were “somewhat satisfied.”

The deciding factor that propelled this iPhone to higher heights may have been Siri, which topped the list of users’ favorite features, with 49 percent of respondents saying they liked it best of any aspect of their device. “Ease of use” came in second with 39 percent, and the much-improved 8 megapixel camera was no slouch either, at third place, with 33 percent of respondents ranking it highly.

Things that people didn’t like about the iPhone 4S are probably less of a surprise to those who have been following it in the news. No. 1 is that battery life is too short; 38 percent of respondents complained about this. Apple has been dealing with reports of compromised battery life on the 4S since its release, and it has issued one update already to attempt to address the problem. Despite the update, complaints persist, though ChangeWave found that it was a “very big problem” for only 8 percent of its survey respondents.

Another big complaint from users was the lack of 4G capability. I suppose that’s also to be expected, as carriers continue to ramp up their 4G networks and Android devices heavily market their LTE network compatibility. Still the issue doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact on users’ overall impression of their devices, and rumors suggest we will see 4G support added next year with Apple’s next iPhone.

Dropped call rates seem to be down with the iPhone 4S versus the iPhone 4, which could be another reason for its higher satisfaction versus the iPhone 4. Users reported less than half the dropped call rate of the iPhone 4 for the 4S. That rate changed depending on carrier, however; Verizon (s vz) users reported only a 1.3 percent dropped call rate, while AT&T (s t) device owners reported a 4.1 percent drop rate.

The iPhone 4S is clearly a hit with those who bought one, which is great news for Apple’s future device loyalty. Since Apple already has one of the most loyal user bases out there, is high satisfaction with its latest-generation device surprising to anyone?