One of the more commonly touted axioms in tech is that iOS users are, on average, more loyal than Android users. New data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), however, suggests that smartphone retention rates among iOS and Android devices may be a lot closer than previously imagined.
Over the last two years, CIRP observed and compiled large volumes of smartphone purchasing metrics and found that when consumers opt for a new phone, 82% of Android users stick with Android while just 78% of iOS users stick with iOS.
The data also conveys that, believe it or not, the percentage of switchers going from iOS to Android is actually higher than the percentage of switchers going from Android to iOS. Further, CIRP’s data shows that 62% of first time phone buyers tend to lean towards Android compared to just 24% who opt to go down the iPhone route.
“The dynamic between Apple iOS and Google Android is not well-understood,” said Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “Even the basic loyalty rate, the measure of how each operating system retains its own users, is not widely known. Conventional wisdom says the Apple ‘ecosystem’ promotes loyalty, while Android readily gives up users to iOS. Our analysis has a more nuanced view on operating system selection, and indicates Android user loyalty has caught up and even exceeds that of iOS.”
Not surprisingly, and as you can tell from the chart above, Windows and Blackberry pull up the rear with a cumulative 5% marketshare.
Interestingly enough, Apple’s own data relays a slightly different tone, namely that the percentage of Android to iPhone switchers is higher than it has ever been in history. During Apple’s most recent earnings conference call, Tim Cook said that the iPhone 6 triggered a record number of Android to iOS switchers. From April 2015 through July 2015, Cook said that Apple saw the “highest switcher rate from Android that we’ve ever measured.”