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2 min read 20 comments

Apple CEO Tim Cook says 85% of new iPhone buyers are switchers, and mostly from Android

Most new iPhone buyers are switching over from other phones and the majority of them are Android users, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Mr Cook went on record to talk about Apple's record-breaking iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales, noting that fewer than 15 percent of recent iPhone buyers upgraded from other iPhones and that the majority of the remaining 85 percent switched from Android. But is this suprising? 

iOS vs Android 2
Tim Cook see's Apple's recent sales surge as more than just temporary. / © ANDROIDPIT

“We certainly believe there are legs to it,” said Cook of Apple's recent sales surge (as reported by The Wall Street Journal). Apple has seen a huge sales boost in the past few months, which led it to a 30 percent increase in revenue over its previous year, but it's usually in Q2 and Q3 where it struggles to gain new adopters. 

Even with an increased number of switchers, Android is still increasing in market share overall. A recent report from market research firm IDC states that Android's Q3 user-base has grown year-on-year for the past two years. However, iOS's user-base has decreased during the same period. Check out the IDC's market share graph below. 

IDC: Smartphone OS Market Share 2013, 2012, and 2011 Chart

Worldwide Smartphone OS Market Share over the last couple of years. / © IDC

As you can see, iOS often claws back some of the market share in Q4 through to Q1. When each new iPhone launches sales boom, but typically trail off as new Android flagships from Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony are released later in the year. 

It would be little surprise that a high percentage of users switching to iOS come from Android. Android is - by far - the biggest platform. The graph above shows that Android's share unit shipments is growing, while iOS's is shrinking. Apple's 85 percent figure does not take into account how much faster Android is growing, or how many iOS users are converting to Android.

However, Apple would expect its sales to continue on this upward trajectory as 2015 progresses, particuarly with the launch of the Apple Watch in April. Will Android produce enough quality devices to remain the dominant platform? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Readers' favorite comments

  • Rogue Tomato Jan 31, 2015

    Well, duh. What did the 15% switch from? Windows?

    When you own the market, which Android does, then most of the users who switch at all are going to be switching from Android.

    To those, I say, you'll be back. They always come back.

  • craig hoare Jan 30, 2015

    I went from android to iphone then back to android.
    I gave the dark side a try and got very bored of the lack of control you have over your device.
    now I'm back home I couldn't be happier, android you complete me.

  • Pam O. Jan 30, 2015

    Not 85%...i call BS on this number. Practically Everyone i know who had an iphone upgraded to the 6 because of the screen size. Not one person i know went from Android to the iphone. It was Xmas so those who were not even due for an upgrade, said it was a Xmas present.

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  • Let's do some calculation this time. Think Mr. Cook was too busy for it.
    ios shipment in 2013was 153.4 million units, 192.7 M in 2014. When 85%of ios phone users in 2014 were from Android, it comes to the result that, there was only 28.9M original ios users, which was not even close to 153.4M of 2013.
    Of course, another possible fact Cook didn't say, is that 124.5M iOS users moved to Android from iOS in 2014.
    So, what's the big deal!
    Cook just said that people move all the time, from iOS to Android, or from Android to iOS. But, I personally still don't believe this is true.


  • Lenovo s850 eligible. For lollipop 5??


  • here in china and taiwan, I personally have the impression that most iphone users don't really need a smart phone, they just want an iphone to show off. but this will change soon, when they find what they really need.


    • Same with people in my country. They all use iphone just because want to show off, think they are rich than another people. Its up to you to use ios or android but please. Dont be annoying with ur apple iphone.


      • ljhaye Feb 2, 2015 Link to comment

        It's a status symbol in my country of Panama, where Android means you're poor. Many people save up for months to buy a used iPhone.


      • It's really strange. But i think the promotion strategy in Apple works for them poor guys, and that makes them even poorer. However, i still think they will one day know what they really want. Having an Apple doesn't really mean you are with money or any better. I don't deny that it is a good phone, too, just as that of Sony , Samsung, Google, HTC, .... have. And users will eventually know what is form them, instead of just an logo to show.
        Have a nice everyday! Everyone.


  • I personally do not think so.
    a real smart phone user will take points in android for spec., performance, and connectivity.


  • There is a trend in wealthier countries where there is a move to the iPhone. In developed countries its like 50/50 between iOS and Android. Once people get a bit of money they will throw away their $100 Android phone a go for an iPhone. So I think the 85% number is not wrong. But in developing countries as Android phones get cheaper and cheaper more and more people can afford Android phones which is why Android share keeps growing. But this doesn't detract from the fact that iPhones are more desirable which is why Apple gets record profits. For advertisers the developing world is not the most desirable audience and also Android users rarely pay for apps so Google makes chump change from Android compared to what Apple makes from its smart phones. This is why Google is no longer supporting fixing security flaws for Jelly Bean and under. Why put in the large resources needed to fix security flaws in old versions of Android when you are making peanuts from it.


  • 85% my azz. I tried out crAPPLE and they are a POS. Been with Android ever since. crAPPLE restricts what you can download on there crappy app store, you cannot download anything off the net, putting music on it is a F-ing joke. Only thing that makes crAPPLE tolerable is rooting it but it's still a worthless POS. Last I heard alot of crAPPLE users are switching from crAPPLE to the best ANDROID.


  • Mark M. Jan 31, 2015 Link to comment

    How much is 85% of 15%???
    Keep screwing with numbers Timmy, you might start believing your own press.


    • ljhaye Jan 31, 2015 Link to comment

      Tim isn't screwing with the numbers most of the switches occurred in the Asian markets where Samsung lost significant market share.


  • 85% seems unreasonably high for android switchers...unless possibly they're all ex-apple people who, once they saw an Apply phablet decided to switch back. In any case I don't see this as a trend.


  • 85% ?? android not that bad mr.CEO


  • Lalit
    • Admin
    Jan 31, 2015 Link to comment

    Now that's something at which I'll ....lol.... Tim must be getting nightmares that Android is soon going .... :D which is the reason why he's saying "Android users switch to iPhone" ! Rather than I would say user's over the iPhone 5 or iPhone 4 made a switch to iPhone 6.


  • Well, duh. What did the 15% switch from? Windows?

    When you own the market, which Android does, then most of the users who switch at all are going to be switching from Android.

    To those, I say, you'll be back. They always come back.


  • ljhaye Jan 31, 2015 Link to comment

    A lot of the switching happened in the Asian markets. They sold 74.5 million iPhones in the 4 qtr 2014 enough to give Android its first decline in shipments ever from 217 to 205 million shipped. There is still plenty of pent up demand for Large Screen iPhones. Apple, I'm afraid is starting to suck all the air out of the premium smartphones market. Samsung's declining profits is the canary in the coal mine. Apple was the number one smartphone maker and number two handset manufacturer for 4qtr 2014. I think Android needs to be worried by both AOSP at the low end and Apple in the premium market.

    Second canary in the coal mine is the fact that now only Qualcomm makes high end Android smartphone chips. What happened to Texas Instruments? What happened to Nvidia?


  • Greg1100 Jan 30, 2015 Link to comment

    I had an iphone 4 when it came out. In nearly 3 years, it didn't put a foot wrong, fair play. I was waiting for the 5 to come out, but when it did, it looked exactly like the 4, only half inch bigger. I soon got fed up with the aggro involved in putting music on the 4, bloody itunes is a nightmare, compared with drag and drop on android phones.
    So I bought me a Galaxy S3, had it over 2.5 years- now rooted with KitKat 4.4.4 on it. I will never have another iphone, with the one size fits all attitude of apple.


  • I went from android to iphone then back to android.
    I gave the dark side a try and got very bored of the lack of control you have over your device.
    now I'm back home I couldn't be happier, android you complete me.


  • Pam O. Jan 30, 2015 Link to comment

    Not 85%...i call BS on this number. Practically Everyone i know who had an iphone upgraded to the 6 because of the screen size. Not one person i know went from Android to the iphone. It was Xmas so those who were not even due for an upgrade, said it was a Xmas present.

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