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Only one group of smartphone users comes even close to being as loyal as iPhone diehards

Updated Mar 24th, 2014 12:50PM EDT
Apple Vs. Samsung Customer Loyalty

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Although every smartphone has its share of fanboys, not everyone who who uses a particular phone is destined to become particularly loyal to it. The Wall Street Journal draws our attention to a recent WDS survey of more than 3,000 smartphone owners that asked them whether they planned to stick with their current brand the next time they bought a new device. Unsurprisingly Apple fans were the most loyal, as 76% said they planned to stick with the iPhone. Samsung came in second place, with 58% of Galaxy owners saying they planned to buy a Samsung phone with their next purchase.

However, things really aren’t looking good for any other smartphone manufacturers. After Apple and Samsung, no other smartphone brand had an intended retention rate of even 50%. LG came the closest at 37% of owners who intended to buy another LG phone, followed by Nokia at 33% and HTC at 30%. BlackBerry lay at the very bottom of the barrel, as just 21% of current BlackBerry owners surveyed said they planned on buying a BlackBerry the next time. As anyone who looked at the stunningly dismal sales figures for BlackBerry 10 devices can tell you, this is not that surprising.

However, it does raise some questions about whether anyone but Apple or Samsung will ever make money selling smartphones again. If those two companies not only make up the bulk of the sales and profits but also are the only two brands whose customers are loyal, what chance does anyone else have?

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.