Wireless users who currently own an iPhone are more likely to stay loyal to their current smartphone platform than owners of any other OS, a recent study found. Market research firm GfK conducted a survey of 4,500 consumers in various regions around the world and found that 84% of current iPhone owners plan to purchase another iPhone as their next handset. 60% of Android users plan to stay loyal according to the study, and 48% of BlackBerry owners intend to purchase another BlackBerry smartphone as their next device. ”Apple is clearly ahead of the game, but developments next year will challenge that,” GfK analyst Ryan Garner told Reuters without elaborating. The consensus at GfK paints a slightly different picture, however, as the firm suggests that loyal customers are difficult to sway. ”The scope for brands to lure customers from rivals has diminished and the richest rewards will go to those providers that can create the most harmonious user experience and develop this brand loyalty,” the firm said in its report. More →
AT&T subscribers have remained loyal to the network following the launch of Apple’s iPhone on rival carriers Verizon Wireless and Sprint. ”Churn has not moved at all,” AT&T’s president of emerging devices Glen Lurie told MarketWatch on Wednesday, referring to the percent of subscribers who leave AT&T to open accounts with other providers. In the years leading up to the iPhone’s launch on Verizon and Sprint, many AT&T subscribers had been extremely vocal about persistant dropped calls and other connectivity issues when using the iPhone in metropolitan areas. Some analysts speculated that the launch of Verizon’s iPhone 4 would send AT&T iPhone users rushing for the door, but that does not appear to be the case. In fact, AT&T recently announced that it activated more than 1 million iPhone 4S handsets in less than a week following the device’s launch. Lurie even said the iPhone 4S is selling so fast for AT&T that demand is still exceeding supply. More →
A whopping 89% of iPhone owners plan to stay loyal to Apple with their next smartphone purchase according to a recent survey conducted by investment bank UBS. A group of analysts from the firm recently commissioned a survey of 515 smartphone owners and determined that Apple’s iPhone is by far the most “sticky” device on the market. Apple’s next closest competitor was HTC, but only 39% of HTC smartphone owners said they intended to purchase another phone from the Taiwan-based vendor. RIM dropped to the No. 3 spot with a 33% retention rate, which was just half of the 66% it scored in a similar UBS survey from 18 months earlier; Apple had a 95% retention rate in UBS’s March 2010 survey, so it too declined over the past year and a half. Samsung (28%) and Motorola (25%) rounded out the top-5. A chart of UBS’s findings follows below. More →
Via a blog post today, foursquare founder Dennis Crowley announced an updated version of his company’s software that will be available to users “late tonight.” Reminiscing about his company’s past, present, and future, Crowley admits that he and his team have not been able to “expand the foursquare experience as much as they hoped to” over the last year. But that all changes today. Focusing on discovery, encouragement, and loyalty, foursquare will deploy several new features to its iPhone and Android applications (version number 3.0). Through a new “Explore” tab, users can input what it is they are looking for, getting recommendations from 4sq based on what’s around and where friends have visited. The company will try to encourage users to continue to explore their world with a revamped leader board. “You’ll see that we’ve replaced our old leader board (and its simple points system and Sunday night reset) with a sliding 7-day barometer of you and your friends,” writes Crowley. “Check-ins now trigger points for dozens of different types of actions.” Loyalty will be addressed by offering merchants additional ways to reward “swarms, groups of friends, regulars, newbies, or everyone.” Merchants will gain access to the new controls later this week. In closing, Crowley writes, “we’ve got really ambitious plans for the rest of the year and we’re excited to let you play with three big new pieces of the master plan.” Foursquare notes that an updated BlackBerry client is due out later this week — though it will not include many 3.0′s features — and that it is “working hard” on its Windows Phone and Symbian apps. More →
According to a recent survey conducted by market research firm GfK, smartphone owners are not very loyal to their current operating system of choice. In fact, the only manufacturer that shows a notable percentage of loyal users is Apple. The survey showed that overall, 44% of smartphone owners claim to be loyal to the OS they currently use. And of those who intend to remain loyal, only the iPhone saw a significant portion of its users claim loyalty — 59% said they would stay loyal to Apple’s iOS. The next closest operating system, BlackBerry OS, came in at 35%. 28% of Android users said they would remain loyal, along with 24% of Symbian users and 21% of Windows Phone users. Of course, like all surveys of this nature, GfK used a ridiculously small sample in its study. Those surveyed — 2,653 people across Brazil, Germany, Spain, Britain, the United States and China — represent such a small percentage of the total number of smartphone users in the world that it isn’t even worth calculating. More →
If you’re a long-time T-Mobile customer in San Fransisco, you may be interested to know the new unlimited voice plan options we reported this past week have indeed become a reality. Woo! The above screen shot comes from MyT-Mobile.com where users in SF should now be able to get the skinny on these pilot plans straight from the horse’s mouth. To quickly recap, T-Mobile customers who have been with the company for at least 22 months and have accounts in good standing now have access to these unlimited voice plans. The individual plan runs $49.99 for voice only and you can cherry-pick data and messaging bundles to suit your needs. Those looking to go all out will pony up a very competitive $84.97 each month; $49.99 for the voice plan, $24.99 for unlimited data and $9.99 for unlimited messaging (SMS/MMS/etc). BlackBerry users will have to spend an extra penny each month ($49.99/voice, $34.99 for BlackBerry data) and family plans start at $89.99 for two lines, with up to three additional lines for $39.99 each. In other words, these are pretty amazing deals. We’re still keeping this one filed under rumor however, as we’ve yet to confirm with our ninjas that T-Mobile does in fact plan to take these puppies national on March 1st – just 10 days after beginning the pilot.
This one has been flying all over the interwebs for the past 12 hours or so, but it looks like the birth of some ridiculously sexy new T-Mobile plans is just a few short steps from moving to confirmed status. As the source of these docs has been a tad shaky at times in the past however, we’ll still have to keep the rumor label on this puppy for the time being. Here’s the deal: T-Mobile is preparing to offer a new line of plans to “loyal” customers. Loyal, apparently, translates to an account that is at least 22 months old and has a solid payment history. Should all go according to, err, plan – the new unlimited options should become available nationwide shortly thereafter. Hit the jump for a breakdown of the new plans and launch details.