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iPhone Loyalty Declines For The First Time Ever. What’s The Cause?

Eric McBride
8

 

Even though I know that this was bound to happen sooner or later, it’s still a pretty crazy thing to actually see unfolding. I knew it was coming when I started to hear that Samsung whistle notification more and more when I was on the train everyday coming to work. I knew it was coming when I started to see older people aged 55 and up rocking Galaxy S3’s. I knew it was coming when I saw more and more teenage girls sending texts from S3’s and HTC One X phones. What am I rambling on about? Not the fall of Apple or of the ongoing iPhone vs Android battle, but rather an occurance that has never happened since the invention of the iPhone: For the first time in iPhone history, iPhone loyalty in the US and in Europe has declined.

The news came via a study conducted by Strategy Analytics, and the study found that 88% of iPhone owners in the US are likely to by another iPhone again. That doesn’t sound bad does it? For any other company it wouldn’t be a bad thing. But for Apple it is some cause for concern, as that number in the US was at 93% last year. In Western Europe, 75% said they would buy an iPhone again, which is a decrease from the 88% who said they would purchase an iPhone again last year.

The reason behind this decline? Strategy Analytics said bad press is a big part of it:

“There is no doubt that Apple is continuing its success in retaining existing user base while attracting new customers," said Paul Brown, director at Strategy Analytics' User Experience Practice. "However, negative press prompted by a perceived lack of recent innovation by Apple has meant we are starting to see some growth in the number of previously highly loyal consumers who are now reconsidering whether or not they will purchase a new iPhone for their next device."

They then went on to say that “it is the shift in the number of those who are unsure whether they will remain with the same brand for their next phone that Apple should be concerned about."

While that might be a huge part of it, I believe that Android has a big part to do with it as well, as market share has increased in both the US and in Europe. In Europe, 67% of consumers now use Android, which is a significant step up from the 51% share that it held in 2011. In Q3 of this year,136 million of the 181 million smartphones shipped in Q3 (a whopping 75%) were Android devices, which is up from 68% last year. I’m sure that iPhone 5 shipments will add to the 14.9% of shipments that Apple made in Q3, but it definitely won’t be enough to come anywhere near the majority share that Android currently holds.

That being said, I would certainly be very curious to see the same study done on Android loyalty. I wonder if it would show the same trend?

While these decreases aren’t huge on paper, they are a first for Apple .Never before has iPhone loyalty dropped...EVER. It was bound to happen sooner or later, but I don't believe it spells the fall of Apple. What these numbers do show however, is just how far Android has came in only a few years time. 

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  • David H. Nov 5, 2012 Link

    I have been using Windows and Android forever, justifying it by embracing the customization and control I have, a bigger factor, though, was the attitude of Mac users in blogs and commercials.

    Trying to act like they're better than everyone else, with an air of superiority...

    Persona is an important part of personal interactions and business relations, if I were to look at Apple and compare them to an athlete, Apple is a has-been in the making, trying to keep control by vying for the attention of the referees and score-keepers, rather than trying to win the game, or just having fun.

    Crying and whining in the court rooms instead of innovating will keep me from ever buying an Apple product, even though I was close when my Win7 laptop kept crashing last week... stupid AV programs can't recognize Windows Update!

    Honestly all the drama in courts kept Apple from even being an alternative, I was instead looking at Ubuntu, Linux, even trying to figure out how to put Android on my PC.

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  • Dvoraak Nov 5, 2012 Link

    I was recently talking to a business associate about iPhones when I told him I was done with Apple and getting the Note 2 for my next phone. I told him iOS was simply boring me to tears at this point.

    He told me he believes that Apple isn't currently innovating because "iPhone is already so far ahead of everybody, they're waiting for the competition to catch up. Then they'll release another mind blowing phone."

    I was dumbfounded, jaw on the floor and it took me a minute before I could try to enlighten him. By the time it was all said and done, I understood what Android users have been saying about the "sheeple". I was so embarrassed of the iPhone in my pocket LOL.

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    DaBartonator Nov 6, 2012 Link

    People are so ignorant they don't know how ignorant they are. sound like a paradox because it is...its how apple fanboys were spawned

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  • Ibrahim Muhsin Nov 6, 2012 Link

    @Dvoraak haha i know exactly how you feel, everybody in my office owns an iPhone and its amazing how ignorant they can be, they refuse to accept anything other than iPhones are the best and they always avoid trying to place their iPhone next to my Android :D

    Android sure is an addiction :)

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  • Rutger Nov 6, 2012 Link

    @Ibrahim.
    I assume they are driving BMW's and have their iPhone squashe between their ear and shoulder because they can't figure out how the BT-system works in the car! So the they look like morons and are dangerous in the traffic.

    (I write this becuase that is what I see every day here in Sweden, iPhone users and BT-system in cars are not compatible, it's obviously too advanced for them)

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  • red Nov 7, 2012 Link

    I don't get how people PAY MONEY to have a device not only limit them, but also no complete control of said device. (think of just changing the battery of iphone, etc., etc., ) I just don't get it.

    The ONLY thing attractive to me about iphone is some companies cater only to iphone in apps that I want. I'm sure in time it will even out tho.

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  • CJ Brown Nov 13, 2012 Link

    Let's face the facts:

    1) Bully tactics in Court are not a good business decision

    2) Bad Press loses Customer loyalty

    3) Better Products by your competitors (offering 4G + larger screens + SD external memory)

    4) Lower Prices by your competitors (everyone globally is on a budget)

    5) Lackluster iPhone5 (APPLE should've waited a year to unveil something better)

    6) Better selection of No Contract Smart Phones (globally)




    C J

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