Love is blind: NPD says Android customers are so committed that exploding Note 7 did little to help.

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2016
Like loyalty to a political party or hometown sports team, smartphone users are extremely passionate about their choices -- a commitment that led many customers to stick with Samsung, despite the disaster of its downright dangerous Galaxy Note 7.




Earlier this week, mobile analytics firm Flurry published data from the holiday season, showing that Apple saw twice as many device activations as rival Samsung. Despite Apple's continued commanding lead in holiday sales of smartphones and tablets, however, the numbers suggested Apple's share was lower and Samsung's was slightly higher from last year.

Attempting to explain the trends shown in the data, NPD analyst Stephen Baker told The Wall Street Journal he believes that Android loyalists are committed, and even dangerous exploding batteries in the Galaxy Note 7 were not enough to push significant numbers of customers over to the iPhone.

"Most of those who bought or wanted to buy a Note 7 opted for a different high-end Galaxy phone," Baker said.


Photo via Skift.


Despite activation estimates from Flurry, or speculation from NPD, the actual effect of the exploding Note 7 on Apple's bottom line won't be fully understood until late January. That's when Apple will report its December quarter results, including the first full quarter of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus sales. It's expected to be a record setting quarter for Apple.

Until Apple announces actual sales, estimates from market tracking firms should be taken with a grain of salt. In the past, their methods have been unreliable.




Regardless of the Note 7's perceived impact on marketshare or brand loyalty, there have already been very real consequences for Samsung.

Samsung pushed out a software update to permanently disable any remaining U.S. Galaxy Note 7 models earlier this month. The South Korean electronics maker also took out full-page ads in major U.S. newspapers to address the public relations crisis for its jumbo-sized "phablet."

In October, Samsung's mobile unit reported a 96 percent decline in operating profits, after the company cut estimates by $2.3 billion due to the Note 7 debacle. Shipments of the handset were officially halted in late August, a full recall was later issued, and the handset was permanently discontinued by early October.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    Did Apple need any help?  
    Apple is already making almost 100% of the profits.
    I guess they could shoot for 150%.
    jbdragoncaliMacProMetriacanthosauruswatto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 2 of 45
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,928member
    I agree with the statement in the article that we need to wait to see actual sales figures from Apple before attempting to draw conclusions. 

    More generally, though, I don't really understand the mass market appeal of the high-end Samsung phones. In terms of display and camera, they are more or less even with Apple (fans of both products can point to particular advantages and disadvantaged, but I think they're in the same ballpark). But in terms of performance Apple has a very significant lead that goes beyond dry benchmarks -- it's a lead that affects daily usage in a noticeable way. Also, the security/privacy issues of Android would make me very nervous. 

    I know that geeks care about things like USB vs. Lightning ports, but I can't believe ordinary people care about that. 

    The only real advantage I see for the Galaxies relative to the iPhone is the audio port. I continue to believe that Apple jumped the gun on that. If it turns out that people are hesitant to switch to the iPhone, that could be the reason. But in the long term, dropping the audio port does make sense and it sounds like Samsung is going to copy them on that, too. 

    Overall I think the iPhone continues to be the best smartphone money can buy. There are legit gripes about the iPhone relative to the ideal, but relative to real-world competitors, I think the iPhone is still the best. 
    calipalomine
  • Reply 3 of 45
    "...their methods have been unreliable." Then, why pander by reporting their results here?
    edited December 2016 Rayz2016spinnyd
  • Reply 4 of 45
    A coworker who always had iPhones bought a Galaxy S7 Edge this time around when he upgraded. He summed it up the other day to me after having it for a few months:

    "This phone is like that blonde-haired, large breasted model you see in the club. You hook up and start having a fling, but after a couple weeks you find out she's a bitch with a lousy personality and dumber than a bag of hammers and you can't stand to be around her."

    Impressive in the store, lots of sex appeal with the bright screen and curves, but ultimately just an average device.
    macxpresstmaylkruppjbdragontechprod1gyblastdoorcalidesignrpscooter63adamc
  • Reply 5 of 45
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,303member
    I don't see why Samsung's brand loyalty is any more surprising than Apple's or anybody else. Yes, they had a significant problem with the Note 7, and the replacement Note 7. 

    They lost big money, but whole N7 incident/situation was bad for them, not necessarily for their customer base. It's not as though they can no longer make a decent phone.

    If this had happened to the iPhone line I use, I'd return it in a heartbeat. Less, maybe. If it happened to the replacement as well, I'd be concerned/disappointed/wary/etc. Doesn't mean I'd drop Apple as my chosen vendor. Even if this happened to my phone, I'd have to consider what this means for future products before I swore them off.

    The thing I didn't/don't understand is why some owners didn't turn in their N7s, assuming they weren't going to regift them to someone they didn't like, but were going to use them themselves (without looking for a big Sammie Payday).

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 45
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,896member
    A coworker who always had iPhones bought a Galaxy S7 Edge this time around when he upgraded. He summed it up the other day to me after having it for a few months:

    "This phone is like that blonde-haired, large breasted model you see in the club. You hook up and start having a fling, but after a couple weeks you find out she's a bitch with a lousy personality and dumber than a bag of hammers and you can't stand to be around her."

    Impressive in the store, lots of sex appeal with the bright screen and curves, but ultimately just an average device.
    Haha! Great way of putting it! :)
    pscooter63watto_cobrapeterhart
  • Reply 7 of 45
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,876member
    blastdoor said:
    I agree with the statement in the article that we need to wait to see actual sales figures from Apple before attempting to draw conclusions. 

    Ha! When does anyone wait until Apple actually makes a statement about anything? Whether it's sales figures or product development - it's all speculation and it's almost always negative. While it is fun to guess what's going on, since Apple is tight-lipped about everything, we see way too many people taking these "reports" and rumors too seriously. It seems that patience is a virtue that doesn't have a place online.
    cali
  • Reply 8 of 45
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 599member
    I was waiting for this article, knew they would try to spin this as a negative for Apple:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/9to5mac.com/2015/10/27/apple-q4-android-switchers-30-percent/amp/?client=safari

    every quarter Apple states "record number of Android switchers"...some loyalty 
    edited December 2016 cali
  • Reply 9 of 45
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,154member
    No surprise here, just laughable hypocrisy. Apple haters are always using terms like iSheep, Sheeple, Lemmings, cultists, religious zealots, fanbois, and any other term that implies blindly following the herd without thinking. Turns out the pot is worse than the kettle it would seem. 
    calisingularitylarryapalominewatto_cobrabrucemcspinnyd
  • Reply 10 of 45
    Interestingly phrased headline, here's MacRumors : "iPhone 7's Lack of 'Compelling' Features Convinced Most Galaxy Note7 Owners to Stay With Samsung", but love is blind though I completely agree
    brucemc
  • Reply 11 of 45
    It's not so much about loyalty but more on price..cheap price. All Android users I know personally bought Android phones because they're cheap or on sale or free on promotions. Of course there are Android loyalists but I think most Android users are price conscious and/or don't care too much about branding and bells & whistles in a phone.
    calipscooter63Macsplosionwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 45
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,134member
    I didn't have a issue with Samsung's Note 7 battery issue at first.  I think at that point, there's no reason for anyone to really flee them. What made it so much worse was releasing so called fixed Note 7's when they didn't and still don't know what went wrong with the first ones and those started exploding also.

    At that point, it's a good time to flee Samesung and go to someone else.  I'm sure some went to the iPhone while others went with LG or a Google phone or whatever else.  Singer of the diehards went with a Samsung S series, or held onto the note as long as possible until it was disabled and then did one of the above things. I think many well jump onto the Note 8 next year.
     Talking about sheep. They're the worst.
    calipalominewatto_cobrabrucemc
  • Reply 13 of 45
    This has nothing to do with what Apple did or did not bring to the market this year. Most people that choose Android do so based on price and a "good enough" mentality.

    Just like I would never rely on a Windows computer to run my day-to-day business, I would never rely on an Android device for my mobile needs. Just too risky. For me, Apple has maintained the level of quality (just enough) to keep me happy.
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 45
    FatmanFatman Posts: 298member
    Forget the exploding batteries it's the security or lack thereof of the Android platform that should worry Samsung users. My parents bought phones (didn't want to spend more for iPhones) Their credit card and bank accounts were hacked a month later due to an app that relayed info to a third party. Still dealing with the repercussions ...
    calipalominewatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 45
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Fatman said:
    Forget the exploding batteries it's the security or lack thereof of the Android platform that should worry Samsung users. My parents bought phones (didn't want to spend more for iPhones) Their credit card and bank accounts were hacked a month later due to an app that relayed info to a third party. Still dealing with the repercussions ...
    Did you explain to them it was due to their android?

    blastdoor said:
    I agree with the statement in the article that we need to wait to see actual sales figures from Apple before attempting to draw conclusions. 

    More generally, though, I don't really understand the mass market appeal of the high-end Samsung phones. In terms of display and camera, they are more or less even with Apple (fans of both products can point to particular advantages and disadvantaged, but I think they're in the same ballpark). But in terms of performance Apple has a very significant lead that goes beyond dry benchmarks -- it's a lead that affects daily usage in a noticeable way. Also, the security/privacy issues of Android would make me very nervous. 

    I know that geeks care about things like USB vs. Lightning ports, but I can't believe ordinary people care about that. 

    The only real advantage I see for the Galaxies relative to the iPhone is the audio port. I continue to believe that Apple jumped the gun on that. If it turns out that people are hesitant to switch to the iPhone, that could be the reason. But in the long term, dropping the audio port does make sense and it sounds like Samsung is going to copy them on that, too. 

    Overall I think the iPhone continues to be the best smartphone money can buy. There are legit gripes about the iPhone relative to the ideal, but relative to real-world competitors, I think the iPhone is still the best. 
    The average joe doesn't know about androids privacy/security issues. Apple doesn't advertise their advantage and no android manufacturer is gonna talk about it.
    palominewatto_cobraspinnyd
  • Reply 16 of 45
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I think being loyal to an OS and hardware that stole from Apple and tries so hard to be Apple is embarrassing.
    palominewatto_cobrapeterhart
  • Reply 18 of 45
    croprcropr Posts: 944member
    blastdoor said:
    I agree with the statement in the article that we need to wait to see actual sales figures from Apple before attempting to draw conclusions. 

    More generally, though, I don't really understand the mass market appeal of the high-end Samsung phones. In terms of display and camera, they are more or less even with Apple (fans of both products can point to particular advantages and disadvantaged, but I think they're in the same ballpark). But in terms of performance Apple has a very significant lead that goes beyond dry benchmarks -- it's a lead that affects daily usage in a noticeable way. Also, the security/privacy issues of Android would make me very nervous. 

    I know that geeks care about things like USB vs. Lightning ports, but I can't believe ordinary people care about that. 

    The only real advantage I see for the Galaxies relative to the iPhone is the audio port. I continue to believe that Apple jumped the gun on that. If it turns out that people are hesitant to switch to the iPhone, that could be the reason. But in the long term, dropping the audio port does make sense and it sounds like Samsung is going to copy them on that, too. 

    Overall I think the iPhone continues to be the best smartphone money can buy. There are legit gripes about the iPhone relative to the ideal, but relative to real-world competitors, I think the iPhone is still the best. 
    There are some more goodies that Android phones have, that are not available on the iPhone
     - an SD card reader.  One should not put apps on SD cards, but as a local cache for your music and photos, it works perfectly
     - a back button. This is the key useability feature where Android is superior to iOS.  Although most (but not all) apps on iOS have an undo or go back function there is no consistency in how it is implemented (left swipe multiple fingers, a top left button,  a top right button, ... ), .  On Android is the use of the back button is consistent for all apps
     - some minor features like FM radio, dual sim card, ....  These are nice to have things, but only in rare cases decisive in the buying process.

    I also think that the iPhone remains the best smartphone on the market, but I don't think the iPhone has any longer the best price/performance ratio.  The quality and features set of the Android smartphones in the 200$ - 350$ range have increased substantially in the last 18 months, claiming the top spot.
    brucemc
  • Reply 19 of 45
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,732member
    Fatman said:
    Forget the exploding batteries it's the security or lack thereof of the Android platform that should worry Samsung users. My parents bought phones (didn't want to spend more for iPhones) Their credit card and bank accounts were hacked a month later due to an app that relayed info to a third party. Still dealing with the repercussions ...
    Never heard of a Google Play app that did that. Where did it come from? Unless they intentionally disabled default security settings I don't think there's any apps they would have installed that contained malware like that. Sounds more like a phishing scam (usually via email) directing your parents to visit a fake banking site. Every computer/smartphone user has be be aware of those. 
    edited December 2016 singularity
  • Reply 20 of 45
    cropr said:
    blastdoor said:
    I agree with the statement in the article that we need to wait to see actual sales figures from Apple before attempting to draw conclusions. 

    More generally, though, I don't really understand the mass market appeal of the high-end Samsung phones. In terms of display and camera, they are more or less even with Apple (fans of both products can point to particular advantages and disadvantaged, but I think they're in the same ballpark). But in terms of performance Apple has a very significant lead that goes beyond dry benchmarks -- it's a lead that affects daily usage in a noticeable way. Also, the security/privacy issues of Android would make me very nervous. 

    I know that geeks care about things like USB vs. Lightning ports, but I can't believe ordinary people care about that. 

    The only real advantage I see for the Galaxies relative to the iPhone is the audio port. I continue to believe that Apple jumped the gun on that. If it turns out that people are hesitant to switch to the iPhone, that could be the reason. But in the long term, dropping the audio port does make sense and it sounds like Samsung is going to copy them on that, too. 

    Overall I think the iPhone continues to be the best smartphone money can buy. There are legit gripes about the iPhone relative to the ideal, but relative to real-world competitors, I think the iPhone is still the best. 
    There are some more goodies that Android phones have, that are not available on the iPhone
     - an SD card reader.  One should not put apps on SD cards, but as a local cache for your music and photos, it works perfectly
     - a back button. This is the key useability feature where Android is superior to iOS.  Although most (but not all) apps on iOS have an undo or go back function there is no consistency in how it is implemented (left swipe multiple fingers, a top left button,  a top right button, ... ), .  On Android is the use of the back button is consistent for all apps
     - some minor features like FM radio, dual sim card, ....  These are nice to have things, but only in rare cases decisive in the buying process.

    I also think that the iPhone remains the best smartphone on the market, but I don't think the iPhone has any longer the best price/performance ratio.  The quality and features set of the Android smartphones in the 200$ - 350$ range have increased substantially in the last 18 months, claiming the top spot.
    With more and more consumers using cloud-based storage, the lack of SD slot is even less important than it was in 2007.

    Odd that you mention the hardware back button. Daringfireball's John Gruber has some android phones and tests them over the years, and he said his problem w/ that button was never knowing what it was going to do. 

    https://daringfireball.net/linked/2012/12/05/android-back-button
    pscooter63Rayz2016spinnyd
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