Android loyalty reached 91% in Q4, 2017 – only 9% of users indicating they would consider a switch to iOS. By comparison, iOS users reached 86% loyalty – 14% willing to consider a switch to Android.
Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) measured the percentage of customers that remained with each operating system when activating a new phone in 2017.
CIRP says its findings are based on quarterly surveys with a sample of 500 subjects each.
“Loyalty for both Android and iOS increased in 2015 and into 2016 when it levelled off for both operating systems,” said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP.
“Loyalty is as high as we’ve ever seen, really from 85-90% at any given point. With only two mobile operating systems now, users now pick one, learn it, invest in apps and storage, and stick with it. Apple and Google need to figure out how to sell products and services to these loyal customer bases.”
Why the higher Android loyalty?
“Android user loyalty now slightly exceeds that of iOS users,” said Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “Over time, Android loyalty gradually increased, as it achieved parity in the availability of apps, music and video, and as the user experience on the two platforms became more similar.
“Android users also benefit from a wide range of phones from different manufacturers, so they can switch hardware without learning a new operating system,” he added.
The Android ecosystem is open versus Apple’s walled-garden where it has complete control of its prices, devices, approved apps, and suppliers of music and audio streamers.
Apple users have one choice, albeit three models and some back models at run-out prices.
The Open Android ecosystem means investments in apps, music, videos and more are not tied to the brand. It is easy to switch, and more devices now have cloning app to allow for quick and easy updates. Google Play will also record apps purchased and download the latest versions.
It also means a huge choice of devices in the flagship, upper-mid, mid and value tiers.
That competition means prices are keen. Prices of flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ and soon the Galaxy Note 9, will remain fairly stable over the year.
Others from LG, Sony, Huawei, ZTE, OPPO, HTC, Moto etc. are keenly priced and competitive.
Innovation is the key to obtaining new customers. Samsung’s S9 series lead with things like dual aperture cameras, smart Emoji, Wireless charging, AMOLED screens, IP68, and more.
But others are creeping under its guard with substantially lower cost devices that do ‘most’ things that Samsung does. Look at Moto’s Mod ecosystem, ZTE’s Axon M dual screen, HTC Squeeze Sense, Google Pixel’s camera, and many more.