When it comes to smartphone loyalty, Apple's iPhone wins

According to Gfk's recent survey, iPhone users remain the most satisfied and claim they'll stick with their iPhones instead of jumping ship to another smartphone platform. Out of all the users surveyed, only 25% of them plan to stay loyal to their current smartphone platform while 56% of those surveyed plan to keep their options open when buying their next smartphone. Out of those users who say they're staying loyal to their current smartphone platform, Apple users made up 59% of that number. Microsoft phones showed the lowest user loyalty base at only 21%. RIM, Nokia, and Android fell between the 24-35% ranges.

Lead analyst, Ryan Garner had this to say about smartphone loyalty -

"Loyalty with a handset is a lot more complicated these days in that people buy into experiences at the high-end level,"..."If a phone doesn't do what it says it will do or what the owner hopes it will do, the maker will lose loyalty."

Most smartphone users rely on owning a smartphone that's not only user friendly but reliable and stable. Those are the types of things Apple has managed to nail. Not to mention Apple having the most extensive choice of applications available via their App Store. These things all combined could be what keep Apple users loyal. I know a huge factor for me is the amount of money I've already invested in the platform through purchasing applications. If I switched platforms, those applications would be rendered useless to me. So to all the members of the TiPb community, what is it that keeps you loyal to the iOS platform?

[(http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AS0XB20101129)]

Footnote: 
[via Reuters]

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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When it comes to smartphone loyalty, Apple's iPhone wins

27 Comments

This is somewhat misleading. A large part of Apple loyalty is honestly because of apps.
I myself recently jumped ship from being a BB user for 8 years, why? Because BB was lagging behind my gaming, and app needs. After spending 200+ dollars on apps, I am curious what Android has to offer and wouldn't mind trying out an Evo4G or DroidX, but that means losing 200+ dollars worth of apps.
Almost certainly not worth it

I agree, it is all about the apps. I still have my first gen iPod touch, I got it on day one, and have lots of apps, many purchased. My smartphone is a Palm Pre Plus (Verizon), which I have not one paid app for. The reason? I know eventually there will be a Verizon iPhone, and I will jump ship day one. The Pre is a great phone, webOS a great phone OS, with some aspects I wish Apple would adopt, but for the overall experience, of which apps is a large part, Apple/iOS win.

Well for me.. It is the fact that I think its the best phone. Sure the apps are great but I find myself only using my twitter app these days. I love how polished the phone is, OS and hardware. Its design is great, Apple supports it well with frequent OS updates. As a consumer I genereally feel cared for. Thats why I go with the iPhone the user experience goes beyond the OS, not to mention that I also have other Apple products that play well with my iPhone. So its that whole ecosystem too.

Many people I know who owned an iPhone 3G have recently switched to Android devices and said never again will they touch an iPhone.
I on the other hand will almost certainly stay with Apple in the future because of the hundreds of $$$ I invested in apps. That is, as long as the new iPhones are still jailbreakable - if that's not an option anymore, the iPhone becomes a no-go immediately.

In order: OS, hardware, apps. Although apps are significant, I've had to replace them before with previous platform shifts. Even on the same platform you have to replace apps occasionally, as devs drop support and the next great thing comes along. It's just an ongoing cost, and even a $200 investment is peanuts compared to the overall cost of owning a smartphone. For me, it's all about the usability and reliability.

I switched from a Blackberry to an iPhone and never looked back. Most of my satisfaction with the iPhone is due to its incredibly stable and reliable platform. Unlike my old BBs and other smartphones, my iPhone never crashes and works consistently. In addition, Apple's integration of a variety of services through its apps truely makes my iPhone a SMARTphone. I use my iphone for everything, from planning, to communicating, to watching videos, to watching movies, to photography - it's the first smartphone that is good at EVERYTHING it does. And the continuous improvements in both the hardware and software are really impressive.

I don't know of any person who has left the iPhone once they got it. I have seen many friends try different phones in the last 3 years and each one comes back to me and asks about my iPhone. They have all switched to the iPhone now.
Everything about this phone keeps me loyal. Apple is leading the way in nearly every category, I always hear others describe their phones saying, "it's just like the iPhone!" But I never hear anyone refer to the iPhone and say, "it's just like the..." iPhone is still #1 in user-friendliness, apps, hardware, software, and customer service.

For me, I am not a 'power user' corporate type, so my main needs for a phone are relaibility and ease of use across all multimedia situations. I don't want to need to do tons of research just to use the device. The great thing about the iPhone is that it consolidates many needs and wants I have on-the-go, such as music, web, video, and specialized apps for things like Twitter, FB, and games, and does so in a convienient manner. Sometimes I check out other devices, such as those powered by Android, however until I have a compelling reason to switch from what works for me now I am not going to do so.

@ Mike
Way to be a buzz kill. Nobody cares about your web site or any crap stuff you have to sell. There are many more viable advertising techniques than posting on a forum, man.
Sorry, this kind of stuff in message boards ticks me off more than it probably should.

@hittrj01
Well said
I stay with the iPhone for everything about it. The apps, the os, the hardware, the general experience in having the phone. Out of all the phones i have ever had this is the only phone that not got boring to me.

I always keep my options open when looking at new phones, but my first choices seem to remain Apple. I feel they are the best choice for what AT&T has to offer. If I had Sprint 4G coverage in my area, I would seriously consider an Evo or another 4G device. Who doesn't want the next generation of wireless in their hands?

@jason from what I hear everyone who has a 4G phone shuts it off unless they are using it. So I guess it does drain the battery a bit.

You need to seperate fanaticism from truth.
Yes the iPhone is a good stable device but it has many, many flaws.
The keyboard for instance is terrible, beyond awful. My career is in telecommunications and cell phones mainly so I have used everything under the sun and I will say that Apple makes byfar the worst "mainstream smartphone" keyboard. The windows phone is a delight, Android across the board crushes it, even the BB storm (if not for that terrible clicking) is better and less error prone. iPhones are also way too fragile, it's ridiculous how easy they are broken. One day I walked by SEVEN people in a single outing whom I saw with cracked iPhone screens. iPhone has many more flaws that just piss me off, however overall it's a great device and king of the app hill like I said I'm not about to switch over to another touch device (even though I'm tempted) because at the end of the day they are all the same thing they device would have to wow me aesthetically and have enough features to tear me away from my iPhone and the hundreds I've spent on apps.

personally this isnt like the phone makers do anyhting for us. this is a product and i will continue to buy the best product i can. i live in a area where the iphone is not available so i got a droid. if the iphone comes to me then i will sit down and have to make a decision on what is the better phone for me. scew loyality im paying for it so ill buy the best i can

I expect this "product loyalty" number to go down as people's contracts expire.
I've been through two phones and the proximity sensor still doesn't work properly. I even waited for the 4.1 upgrade before exchanging phones. The i4 is aesthetically beautiful but the decision to make it a glass sandwich is questionable. And the arrogance of Apple not to EVER admit that they made mistakes with the design. I can understand not wanting to bring negativity the Apple name but sheez, don't treat me like I'm stupid or some blind sheep.
I'm rather pissed I wasted an upgrade on this phone. Once I was off contract, I should have jumped carriers and hopped on the Fandroid bandwagon.

My wife just switched from Android to iPhone, primarily because her experience with Android was a disaster. Why? Because of the hardware. There are some great Android phones out there, and then their are some serious duds. You end up with the latter, and it won't be long before you are pining for something else, no matter how great the OS that is running it might be.

I'm going to stick with webOS for my phone. It's much nicer and easier to deal with then iOS. Haven't dealt much with Android or WP7 to know how they size up. Honestly the NUMBER of apps isn't as big of deal as just having the apps I'd need for my phone.

It's the ecosystem. All of the accessories, chargers, car docks, ihomes, etc that I've bought since my first iPod in 2003 still work with my iPhone4. Other platforms need to develop similar ecosystems to keep users coming back.

@Clinton
You know, who should I believe? You? Or the plethora of customer surveys stating that Apple iPhone has the highest satisfaction, highest loyalty, is at the top of phone reliability and durability metrics. Hmm, what should I believe.

@zero credibility:
They all had quite a bad experience with the 3G. For example incoming SMS alerts, that alerted every 5 minutes about 10 times for the same SMS even after reading it (problem still there after restoring the iPhone, and not related to the SIM card). Or not being able to sync with Linux (always had to borrow my computer for an iOS update). Or a very very slow 3G which made them upset. And push alerts that didn't work. And suddenly being stuck in recovery mode (without Jailbreak).
All in all they just didn't have a good user experience and didn't want to put up with it anymore.

It's not about the apps or money invested for me. The phone is solid, iOS is reliable and fast, and the battery life is amazing in comparison to it competitors. The basics are what really matters.

I'm with Shrike On his comment to Clinton, when I heard Clinton's first comment about the iPhones keyboard I thought "wonder what device he's been typing on" because I think the iPhones keyboard rocks. Never had an issue with it except for some lag on my older 3G. For me I remain loyal to Apple for , in my eyes, stability. My iPhone 3GS has yet to take a dump and even though android is always in the news and every blog I see on the web, to me all the extra features don't mean jack if it's not as stable as what Apple makes. Sure every phone has it's flaws, but flaws or not the iPhone does it for me.

I'm a PC guy through and through - never even used a Mac before and no interest. My entire business is supporting PCs. Yet, I got an iPhone 3GS a little over a year ago and have remained blown away by it. Upgraded to a 4 a couple months ago. Best device out there, in my opinion, and I've tried a bunch of them. Yesterday I had to set up a Droid 2 for a client. Ugh - it really didn't even come close to the iPhone experience. Again, my opinion. But I'm certainly no sheep who buys an iPhone just because everyone else does.

Just because Apple has more loyal subscribers does not mean anything. Why do I say this? That would have to be because Android is still surging in market share while Apple is loosing. So my next question is if Android users want to leave Android where are they going? Statistically it is definitely not Apple.
Even Daring fireball's John Gruber thinks " Android is winning"
check out the article here: http://getyourgadgetsgoing.com/2010/11/29/apple-users-are-more-loyal-but...

The iPhone is the completer package, period. Apps aside, the plain ease and integration is far above all others on the market. And this is what I hear from a lot of other phone users.
Examples (I use):
iPhone GPS Car Adapter
iPhone Alarm Clock
iPhone Stereo
Apple TV - Watch iPhone content and control TV.
So, for me, this is what makes the iPhone so great. Oh, and it works great too.