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Smartphone Owner Loyalty Unreliable…

Loyalty Dead I have a few friends that jump ship between devices every time a new shiny toy comes out. Be it BlackBerry, Android, Symbian, WebOS, iPhone, etc there is very low loyalty when it comes to smartphone users and a new study from GfK confirms it. According to Reuters the study found that 56% of smartphone users are not married to a device or OS. They also found that on average just 25% of smartphone users planned on staying with the same OS of their current phone. There is a pretty broad range from Microsoft at 21% to Apple at 59% but Apple tends to skew this kind of data since fanboys would buy an iCrap if Steve Jobs told them to.

RIM is in a far second place to Apple with 35% of users in the study planning on sticking with BlackBerrys. Symbian clocked in with 24% and Android had 28%. There is still quite a bit of room in the smartphone market but it looks like users switching from one device to another is going to be fairly common. I know I have tried quite a few of the devices out there in the past 10 years but I tend to always end up coming back to BlackBerrys. It usually comes down to not caring how many apps and Ghz a phone has if it cannot provide efficient core communications that I count on every day.

What do you think of the study? You can find the full details over at Reuters. via Electronista

9 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. In an article concerning brand loyalty it is entirely disingenuous to say that Apple skews the data thanks to their rabidly loyal fans. It’s either brand loyalty or it isn’t; just because you don’t care for Apple shouldn’t subtract from the fact they have the strongest brand loyalty. RIM does well but not so well they could sell the DingleBerry and that indicates Apple is outdoing them in brand loyalty when they could get awau with the iCrap.

    • I think you misinterpreted what I meant. When I say fanboys tend to skew these sorts of results I meant the mindless fanboy-ism that follows the Apple and iPhone culture. Have you ever seen the iPhone vs Evo video:
      That is exactly what I mean. That is not loyalty it is just plain mindless idiocy. Don’t get me wrong there are many loyal iPhone users and Apple does a great job of promoting that loyalty but the “Steve Jobs is a god and everything he makes is a godsend” is a perverted sense of loyalty in my book and what I meant by the skewing.

    • You’re missing the point by being on Apple-defense mode.

      Apple’s devout followers add artifact and “false positives” to any kind of surveys like this one because these consumers will typically (*keyword*) buy anything with an Apple brand. There is nothing wrong with that, but the point is that fanboyism does add a lot of complications to surveys and polls analyzing the purchase/use of individual products. It is not just Apple in particular as Sony, Microsoft, Starbucks, and even KitchenAid experience the same type of uber-loyalty.

      Basically, it’s hard to interpret survey results because of the fanboy phenomena.

      The problem that I have with this survey is that the sample size is relatively small, only 6 countries were surveyed online in only 2 months, and important factors like age and other demographics haven’t been included (or were not measured). I know that the full results haven’t been fully released yet, but as it is, this study just feels lacking.

  2. I own 3 of the above mentioned platforms. Tour 9630, iTouch, iPhone, and the Original Droid. Love my Berry. Love my iTouch. Dislike the iPhone even though there are better apps/games for the iOS (which I do like), and my Droid I like, but I couldn’t see myself moving to it as my main device. It’s definitely “to each their own”. When people ask me, I weigh the pros and cons of each and let them decide. I find more people stay loyal due to application purchases and/or service provider by their carrier.

  3. My thought is that surveys like this are meaningless. They tell us NOTHING real. What tells us something is ACTUAL sales. All these sorts of surveys do is make for PR fodder. I don’t think ANYONE with half a brain reads a survey like this and lets it impact their decision of what phone to buy next.

    I think people are more concerned that their contacts and calendar entries and music and such can transfer to the next phone they buy than are REALLY concerned about what OS it runs. Perhaps if we were at a point where a significant portion of the smartphone buying public had large numbers of purchased apps on their phones to transfer to the next one, but considering the relative “cheap” factor of smartphone apps I don’t think that YET plays a major factor in a platform switch decision.

  4. I think it’s okay for Smart Phone users to jump from product to product. It forces companies to be innovative.

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