iPhone users have strongest brand retention rates

A new survey conducted worldwide reports that 89% of iPhone owners intend to purchase another iPhone on their next upgrade cycle. The figure is at least twice Apple's competitors, with rival HTC coming up at second with a 39% retention rate.

The report, conducted by an independent research firm UBS (via MacRumors), also places devices with Android at an average 55% retention rate. This is despite the increased proliferation of Android devices in the consumer market, of which the iPhone saw a six percent decline over a 1.5 year period. On the other hand, RIM's userbase continues on a steady exodus away from the once mighty BlackBerries, with a 33% retention rate compared to 62% from the same 1.5 year time period.

Switching trends were also included in the survey. Android device makers Samsung and HTC see a rough parity in persons switching to and from their devices, and Apple has a much smaller percentile of users switching away from their ecosystem. Only 10% of iPhone users plan to move to another brand. Nokia appears to be hemorrhaging users at a similar pace as RIM, as the company places their bets on upcoming Nokia Windows Phone devices.

Image Credits: MacRumors

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21 Comments

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My Apple retention is due to the fact that I've already purchased apps, songs, videos, audiobooks and I subscribe to Podcasts - on iTunes. If I switch, I've just made accessing those a lot more complicated. I don't stay because the phones better than the competition necessarily. Ease of use is my priority!

Never owned an iPhone, never will....i have gone Panasonic GD35, Nokia 3310, Sony K800i,Nokia N95 (awful build quality), HTC Magic,Nexus One, HTC Desire HD (rubbish...buggy as hell had two awful handsets) and now own a Samsung Omnia 7 (awesome phone, by far best I i have ever used - roll on "Mango"!!!).... Next phone either Focus S or Nokia WP7.5 handset. I think I'll be a loyal WP7.5/WP8 etc user now. UK based on 3 network. IPhone is grossly overrated imo.

Thanks for tell us what everyone already knows.

In case anyone wants to know...water is wet, the sky is blue, and snow is cold.

Would I be swapping phone manufacturers around if iOS was available on them? You bet your keester, I want to get the latest and best unfortunately I more or less have to wait for Apple to say alright it's time to upgrade your hardware. I'm tied in with the amount of apps i purchased. However I constantly have issues with the touch screen on my iphone, the phone freezing, apps being slow, the phone being unresponsive and I hate AT&T.

Oh and don't say it must be my phone and my phone only because out of the 3 of generations of iPhone i've owned they've all experienced this probelm just like other devices do.

Edrick Smith said,
Would I be swapping phone manufacturers around if iOS was available on them? You bet your keester, I want to get the latest and best unfortunately I more or less have to wait for Apple to say alright it's time to upgrade your hardware. I'm tied in with the amount of apps i purchased. However I constantly have issues with the touch screen on my iphone, the phone freezing, apps being slow, the phone being unresponsive and I hate AT&T.

Oh and don't say it must be my phone and my phone only because out of the 3 of generations of iPhone i've owned they've all experienced this probelm just like other devices do.

Or maybe it's just you? I've only ever experienced freezes on my old iPhone 3G when i upgraded to iOS4, on my iPhone 4 though I've never experienced said lockups or any slowdowns. even with the iOS5 betas... Though if you JB then I'd say it's likely jailbreaking thats the likely cause (I've never found a reason to JB nor will I ever.)

Not surprised... deserved or not, Apple has an incredibly strong brand name.

A lot of non-techy people know the iPhone is a good phone but don't know much about the others. Some of my friends said I had a "poor man's iPhone" when I got my old HTC Desire, despite me choosing it due to the superior feature set (in my opinion).

Should really be comparing loyalty to platforms for this to be a useful study.

WIll my next phone likely be another iPhone? Yeah, probably. I like the platform and am invested in it as far as apps are concerned. With Android and WP7, users can look at a variety of OEMs for their next phone purchase and not lose any app investments.

What a silly comparison to make. why are they comparing hardware vendors to something that is chosen based on software. If we were looking at first time smartphone buys, it would make sense but the average consumer doesn't like unneeded change. If you have a bunch of apps you paid for and the smartphone you currently has never given you any serious issues, you will buy a similar one. Similar doesn't mean brand of hardware. If you like the iOS, you are going to continue to buy the iPhone. If you like Android, you are going to buy.... Samsung, HTC, etc. It doesn't really matter what brand you get because they are all running the same OS with a few minor differences. Retention will always be lower when you have more hardware companies to choose from. Give us a retention survey that makes sense, like Android to iOS. The garbage posted above means nothing in the real world.

ILikeTobacco said,
What a silly comparison to make. why are they comparing hardware vendors to something that is chosen based on software. If we were looking at first time smartphone buys, it would make sense but the average consumer doesn't like unneeded change. If you have a bunch of apps you paid for and the smartphone you currently has never given you any serious issues, you will buy a similar one. Similar doesn't mean brand of hardware. If you like the iOS, you are going to continue to buy the iPhone. If you like Android, you are going to buy.... Samsung, HTC, etc. It doesn't really matter what brand you get because they are all running the same OS with a few minor differences. Retention will always be lower when you have more hardware companies to choose from. Give us a retention survey that makes sense, like Android to iOS. The garbage posted above means nothing in the real world.

I agree. If you exclude Apple then it becomes interesting though.

ILikeTobacco said,
The garbage posted above means nothing in the real world.

It means nothing, really? I'm sure Apple doesn't feel that way after pulling in record profits every quarter.

Xenomorph said,

It means nothing, really? I'm sure Apple doesn't feel that way after pulling in record profits every quarter.

The article is nothing to do with Apple's record profits, it's about brand retention. The study compares Apple, the sole manufacturer of iOS devices, with multiple different brands that manufacture devices with common OSs like Android and WP7. It makes little sense to make such a comparison.

Chewbob said,

The article is nothing to do with Apple's record profits, it's about brand retention. The study compares Apple, the sole manufacturer of iOS devices, with multiple different brands that manufacture devices with common OSs like Android and WP7. It makes little sense to make such a comparison.

Actually it makes perfect sense to compare hardware manufactures as this has nothing to do with software. It's showing what we already know though - Nokias dramatic fall as the leading manufacturer and RIM losing market share at a very fast rate.

DomZ said,

Actually it makes perfect sense to compare hardware manufactures as this has nothing to do with software. It's showing what we already know though - Nokias dramatic fall as the leading manufacturer and RIM losing market share at a very fast rate.

It has everything to do with software. To anyone that remotely looks into what they're going to be buying, the software is going to have a significant impact on the hardware that they buy.