Apple fans are a loyal lot. Some might even say they are too loyal, as some parts of the Apple fandom have earned a reputation for cult-like loyalty to the company. A new study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, however, shows that Android fans are more loyal to their choice of phone OS than are users of iOS. Tech Crunch reported on the study, which shows that Android-brand loyalty has been rising since 2016, and is currently the highest in the history of the OS.
Currently, Android enjoys a loyalty rate of 91 percent, compared to the 86 percent held by iOS. In order to measure brand loyalty, CIRP looked at the percentage of consumers who stayed with their previous OS after upgrading their phones.
With only two mobile operating systems at this point, it appears users now pick one, learn it, invest in apps and storage, and stick with it,” CIRP’s Mike Levin told Tech Crunch. “Now, Apple and Google need to figure out how to sell products and services to these loyal customer bases.”
This may explain why both Google and Apple are heavily investing in services such as apps, music, and storage. In fact, despite seeing lower brand loyalty, Apple saw record revenues from services last November. This would indicate that the company is doing a good job of earning money from its existing customer base.
As for why Android has a stronger brand loyalty, that may be due simply to the broad range of Android devices on the market. Whereas Apple only offers a handful of premium products, Android devices ran the gamut of disposable $50 phones all the way up to high-priced flagships such as the Pixel or Galaxy S line of smartphones. Even those users who want to stay within a specific price range have a wealth of options to chose from. They can transfer their app purchases and storage content from phone to phone, whether that be a $900 flagship, or a $40 phone running Marshmallow.
One other thing worth noting is that even though Android enjoys slightly higher loyalty, there are still more Android users switching to iOS than vice-versa, simply due to how large the Android market is.
“We know Android has a larger base of users than iOS, and because of that larger base, the absolute number of users that switch to iOS from Android is as large or larger than the absolute number of users that switch to Android from iOS,” Levin told Tech Crunch. “Looking at absolute number of users in this way tends to support claims that iOS gains more former Android users,
than Android does former iOS users.”