What you need to know
- iPhones and Android phones both now share the new smartphone activation numbers 50/50.
- It's thought that iPhone loyalty and people switching from Android are the main reasons for Apple's growth — Android tends to make up a higher percentage of new activations.
A full 50% of all smartphone activations in the second quarter of 2021 were iPhones, with Android seeing a fall from its usual ~60% figure to the same 50%.
The numbers come courtesy of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) and include new smartphone activations across the United States.
With Android traditionally enjoying around 60% of all activations, iPhone's growth from 40% to 50% is quite the result for Apple. CIRP's Mike Levin believes that the swing is all down to iPhone owners repeatedly buying new iPhones, while Android owners are beginning to switch more readily.
In the most recent quarter, Apple had an edge in loyalty, with 93 percent of prior iPhone owners upgrading to a new iPhone, compared to 88 percent of Android owners staying with Android. Over several years, iOS gained about five percentage points in loyalty, while Android remained flat. This allowed Apple to steadily increase the iOS share of new smartphone activations.
It remains to be seen how these figures will alter when Apple announces its new iPhone 13 devices later this year. There are more Android devices to come before 2021 draws to a close, too.
The CIRP numbers were based on a survey of 500 people who bought new devices between April and June. That isn't a huge number of people, of course — so keep that in mind when trying to decide whether to take the figures with a pinch of salt.