Survey calls Android buyers "more loyal," but more users are still switching to iOS

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2018
A survey by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners created headlines that Android was "beating iOS in smartphone loyalty," but the data actually shows that more Android users choose to upgrade to iOS than flow the other way and that most users tend to stick with what they've used before.


Lines on a chart


The group charted "loyalty" by platform, based on the number of people surveyed each quarter who said they'd bought a new phone, and had either stuck with the same platform or switched.

Paraphrasing the study data for TechCrunch, Sarah Perez jumped to the conclusion that "Android users just aren't switching to iPhone anymore."

That's not what CIRP reported, however. By the end of her article, Perez chose to include a citation from the group's news release by Josh Lowitz, a Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP, that contradicted her claim. The absolute number of users that switch to iOS from Android is as large or larger than the absolute number of users that switch to Android from iOS

Lowitz stated, "the absolute number of users that switch to iOS from Android is as large or larger than the absolute number of users that switch to Android from iOS," adding that "looking at absolute number of users in this way tends to support claims that iOS gains more former Android users, than Android does former iOS users."

Loyalty figures by brand indicate that the number of iPhone users who return to buy another phone from Apple is commonly far higher than the loyalty numbers among Android brands.

Data from Counterpoint Research last fall stated that in China, more than half (53.4 percent) of all iPhone buyers chose to get another iPhone while only a quarter of Oppo and Vivo buyers chose to repurchase the same brand again, and only 7.2 percent of Samsung buyers opted to get another Samsung phone.

The Loyalty of Stockholm Syndrome

The study didn't seem to make any comparisons of how often users had upgraded their phones, only asking if they'd upgraded within the quarter of a given survey. That would cause all Android users who frequently replace phones to show up more often, causing the platform to appear to be more "loyal" just because an overrepresented group keeps getting Android phones because they are available for free or are deeply discounted.


Google's Android is not loyal to its users


Most Android makers fail to provide software updates for much longer than the first year, making it common for Android buyers to keep rebuying new phones. Even Google has pulled support for its last Nexus phones with the upcoming release of Android P, and those devices were supposed to be Pure Android with the openness to allow end users to supposedly download a new Android kernel and compile it on their own, at least in the words of Google executives. Android devices had a failure rate worldwide of 25 percent - that is more than double the failure rate of iOS devices (12 percent)

Android phones also have a high hardware failure rate that would necessitate more frequent repurchasing. According to a study reported last fall by Blancco Technology Group, during the second quarter of 2017, "Android devices had a failure rate worldwide of 25 percent - that is more than double the failure rate of iOS devices (12 percent)."

Phones from Samsung were particularly bad. The group noted that the "failure rate for Samsung devices overall was 61 percent." However, Samsung buyers tend to keep buying more devices from the company, even after Galaxy Note 7 fires that were caused by rushed engineering and poor quality control.

Samsung heavily promotes its phones with steep discounts and frequent buy one, get one offers that would tend to skew loyalty statistics performed by calling a group of users and only asking if they'd bought a new phone, and if so was it the same platform as their previous one.

Surveys can provide useless data

Surveys also are not an infallible source of data from which to draw broad conclusions. In January, CIRP claimed that based on its survey of hundreds of users, iPhone 8 had outsold iPhone X over the holiday quarter.

Counterpoint Research later reported that "since its launch on Nov. 3, the iPhone X outsold the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus by a 2:1 margin. What this means is the super-premium segment (above $800) has grown from almost 0 percent in previous years to 25 percent share of the total smartphones sold in USA during Q4 2017, which speaks volumes for the potential of USA market and the U.S. consumers' buying power."

The next day Apple's chief executive Tim Cook reported in its earnings call that iPhone X was indeed the "top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November."
magman1979lolliverwatto_cobra
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,847member
    I think there is a theoretical explanation. Android market share is over five times more than iOS. Thus there is higher probability an Android user will upgrade to a new Android OS based phone. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 29
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,371member
    Android users have no choice but to be loyal they can not afford anything else. Except for the hard cord Android people who think open systems is the next best thing next to slice bread. Most all the people I know who choose android, their primary reason is they get a free or low cost phone from their provider. They taking what is given to them and they keep doing it over and over again.

    Another survey which telling you thinks which are not true, but there folks would have predicted a Hilary win as well. Do yourself a favor, do not trust surveys.
    chasmmagman1979cornchipmac_dogpatchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 29
    They are loyal to a dirt-cheap price point, not to Android specifically. 
    chasmmagman1979cornchiplolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 29
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,339member
    tzeshan said:
    I think there is a theoretical explanation. Android market share is over five times more than iOS. Thus there is higher probability an Android user will upgrade to a new Android OS based phone. 
    The problem for Android OS device makers is that while the customer may be loyal to Android OS, they are much less loyal to any brand. It's difficult to compete without differentiation, and the fact is there is very little differentiation between brands, means price/deals are a big sales factor.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 29
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member
    Hmm... if these trends continue, it implies iOS market share of 40% and Android market share of 60% 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 29
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 407member
    Android users like getting stuff for free, not surprising they want to stay in an ecosystem that allows them to continue to do so. 
    magman1979cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 29
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 850member
    They're loyal but leaving.
    Is there an oxymoron in there somewhere, like "Microsoft Works".
    edited March 2018 magman1979cornchiplolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 29
    No such thing as Android loyalty.

    The only loyal users are those getting their phones "for free" as part of their plan when they don't want to pay for a premium phone, iOS or Android. 

    Whoever put together this survey doesn't have enough functioning brain cells to factor that in. 
    magman1979cornchiplolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 29
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,339member
    There is a stigma within Android users about swapping to iOS. They’d rather suffer than admit they changed.
    Because if they owned an iPhone, they wouldn’t be able to think they were a coder or a leet haxxor.

    magman1979cornchiplolliverequality72521watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 29
    the man majority of people i know who have android are three Os updates behind most don’t know how to or don’t realize an update has been released, most are not techie, they just got whatever phone they were told to get.. pros/cons to each, but every sane person i know that went to android or stated they’d never go to an iphone have and/or switched back to the iphone, 

    i was stuck with a samsung galaxy for work for three years almost all the techs used their personal iphones as they functioned better and more reliable 
    chasmmagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 29
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    The stats doesn't seem to actually match the market or revenue curves, that's the only one that actually counts as a measure.
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 29
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,050member
    What Epicurus (and others) have said: it’s only anecdotal, but every single Android owner I know (a couple dozen) got their phones because they told the salesperson they wanted the cheapest thing possible and/or that they didn’t plan on using any advanced features (in particular, seniors represented the latter group) and thus were given/took whatever the salesperson recommended, and this makes sense to me: for all Android’s faults, the middle and lower-end phones are cheap and perform basic functions perfectly well.

    It’s analogous to super-cheap Windows PCs or tablets: if all you need something to do is (basically) post to Facebook and web surf, do you actually need a Mac to do that? Do you even need a “computer” at all ... if your life revolves around taking selfies and posting to Instagram and messaging, wouldn’t you just get the cheapest phone possible so you can spend more on a good data plan?

    So I don’t fault people for getting a cheap Android, but without exception all the people I know (except techphobic seniors) would happily get an iPhone if they could afford it. They are all envious of the features I routinely make use of on mine — and how durable mine is compared to their frequently-replaced Android models.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 29
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,847member
    I still remember days before the iPhone. Inside the stores of telecomm company a row of Nokia, Samsung, Motorola phones are displayed. They are not powered on. They don't work. And the dealer wants me to pick one. 

    These days did not change too much. For most dealers you still can not try the phones before making a decision. So we have so many users being pulled into buying an Android phone in such an ignorant way. Is this any surprise the users are coerced into buying an Android phone?
    macky the mackywatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 29
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,153member
    evilution said:
    There is a stigma within Android users about swapping to iOS. They’d rather suffer than admit they changed.
    Because if they owned an iPhone, they wouldn’t be able to think they were a coder or a leet haxxor.

    I had to laugh at that. Yeah, there is that contingent as well as the “it’s free” crowd. They will just never admit that iPhone & iOS is a better system. It’s going to become more and more difficult though as the hw/sw integration facilitates more and more killer features the mishmash of competitors can’t match.

    epicurus said:
    the man majority of people i know who have android are three Os updates behind most don’t know how to or don’t realize an update has been released, most are not techie, they just got whatever phone they were told to get.. pros/cons to each, but every sane person i know that went to android or stated they’d never go to an iphone have and/or switched back to the iphone, 


    Most people I work with are iPhone users, but there’sre a couple three droid fanatics and a few “free’rs”. I blew one of the fanatics away when I told him my 5s was running the latest OS. He barely believed me! Swears by his galaxy though... 

    edited March 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 29
    plovellplovell Posts: 786member
    The TechCrunch piece has an insightful comment that points out that the difference really is just a side effect of market share, and isn't "loyalty" at all. 

    You can think of it this way. You have a theoretical population of ten million iOS owners and 100 million Android owners. If one million iOS owners switch to Android that's 90% loyalty. And if five million Android owners switch to iOS than that's 95% loyalty. So at the end of the year, iOS has 14 million users and Android has 96 million. 

    Does the "loyalty" number actually reflect Android's long-term prospects if the trend continues? Or does it give a false impression?
    thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 29
    19831983 Posts: 1,133member
    Some parts of this article are silly. Of course Android users are less loyal to the brands they use. Because they have a huge range of Android brands to choose from, if one doesn’t work out for them they can choose another. iOS users only have Apple.

    As for switching from iOS to Android or vice-versa. While I’m sticking with Apple as I like their products. A few friends and associates who started off with iOS and switched to Android due to work or a good deal with their service provider ended up actually prefering it! Which surprised me a little.

     I don’t know if Apple already does this, but they really should test the latest versions of Android while developing their latest and greatest to see if they’re missing something. Because I for one don’t know anybody who has switched from Android to iOS.
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 17 of 29
    1983 said:
    Some parts of this article are silly. Of course Android users are less loyal to the brands they use. Because they have a huge range of Android brands to choose from. iOS users only have Apple.

    As for switching from iOS to Android or vice-versa. While I’m sticking with Apple as I like their products. A few friends and associates who started off with iOS and switched to Android due to work or a good deal with their service provider ended up actually prefering it! Which surprised me a little.

     I don’t know if Apple already does this, but they really should test the latest versions of Android while developing their latest and greatest to see if they’re missing something. Because I for one don’t know anybody who has switched from Android to iOS.
    Go to Reddit and comb through thousands of posts. See what phone they're talking about switching to. 

    hint: it's iPhone X. There's also massive adoption of Apple Watch evident there, and guess what platform is required for Apple Watch. 

    On an individual basis, there are certainly going to be examples of people who have an iPhone and decide to try out an Android. This article is talking about overall statistical trends that are commercially significant, not anecdotal recollections of a person. Again, Reddit provides literally thousands of comments that make any one person's "I don't know anyone who's switched from Android" rather meaningless.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 29
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 132member
    maestro64 said:
    Android users have no choice but to be loyal they can not afford anything else. Except for the hard cord Android people who think open systems is the next best thing next to slice bread. Most all the people I know who choose android, their primary reason is they get a free or low cost phone from their provider. They taking what is given to them and they keep doing it over and over again.

    Another survey which telling you thinks which are not true, but there folks would have predicted a Hilary win as well. Do yourself a favor, do not trust surveys.
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm an iOS dev that can afford any device I'd like... and I've just moved back to using Android as my daily driver... my X was driving me nuts (I'm not a white guy living in sunny CA so Face ID was constantly not working given skin tone and in winter need to wear a cap and scarf)... even then you still have to take your gloves off to navigate. Frankly I first went back to my 6s which was working better, but now has become rather laggy... I'd get an 8, but frankly as Apple has gone downhill on both software and UX quality I'm not going to throw more cash at them. I also some Android dev work so have the latest of those sitting around... and I hate to admit right now they're a smoother experience (not to mention unlike the iPhone I don't have to constantly cycle WiFi off/on when the connection gets stuck every 10-30 minutes).
  • Reply 19 of 29
    thedbathedba Posts: 464member
    aknabi said:
    maestro64 said:
    Android users have no choice but to be loyal they can not afford anything else. Except for the hard cord Android people who think open systems is the next best thing next to slice bread. Most all the people I know who choose android, their primary reason is they get a free or low cost phone from their provider. They taking what is given to them and they keep doing it over and over again.

    Another survey which telling you thinks which are not true, but there folks would have predicted a Hilary win as well. Do yourself a favor, do not trust surveys.
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm an iOS dev that can afford any device I'd like... and I've just moved back to using Android as my daily driver... my X was driving me nuts (I'm not a white guy living in sunny CA so Face ID was constantly not working given skin tone and in winter need to wear a cap and scarf)... even then you still have to take your gloves off to navigate. Frankly I first went back to my 6s which was working better, but now has become rather laggy... I'd get an 8, but frankly as Apple has gone downhill on both software and UX quality I'm not going to throw more cash at them. I also some Android dev work so have the latest of those sitting around... and I hate to admit right now they're a smoother experience (not to mention unlike the iPhone I don't have to constantly cycle WiFi off/on when the connection gets stuck every 10-30 minutes).
    Nothing you’ve said makes any sense. 
    You live in a colder climate thus Face ID is a no go for you because of cap and scarf. 
    Well if it’s that cold, then I would suggest that your number one priority should be getting out of the cold and somewhere warm, before thinking of using your phone. I live in a cold climate too and not using my phone for a few minutes before the bus arrives is no big deal. 
    Then you have to take your gloves off to navigate. So are you suggesting that’s an iPhone problem only?
    Why do you have to cycle WiFi on and off. If there’s something wrong with your phone take it to the Apple store and have them diagnose it. 
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 29
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 457member
    61 percent failure rate? That’s incredible, if true. 
    watto_cobra
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