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Customers may want iPhone, but end up buying Android instead

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:46PM EST
iOS vs Android Smartphone Purchase

A new study reveals that Apple is still the most coveted brand in emerging markets, even though not all potential customers can afford its products and end up using Android devices “because of their accessibility,” Fortune reveals, pointing us to a recent Upstream survey performed on 4,505 smartphone buyers in five emerging markets including Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Vietnam.

According to Upstream, 32% of users want an Apple smartphone with Samsung and Nokia products following at 29% and 13%, respectively, when it comes to averages. When looking at OS only, significantly more people choose Android than iOS, with Windows Phone in third place and BlackBerry almost nonexistent.

When asked about the main reason behind a handset choice, functionality comes up as the most important factor. Between 44% and 48% of buyers, depending on market, are more interested in functionality than the actual brand of a phone, which happens to be the second most important factor when deciding on a smartphone purchase.

When it comes to actual mobile content providers in these markets, Google is king, with its Play Store reaching 40% of users, according to the study. Apple follows in second place with a 28% share. Interestingly, 26% of smartphone buyers in these regions access mobile content directly from the mobile operator’s own mobile store.

The surveyed smartphone buyers identified several issues with their app store experiences, with too much advertising being one of the most important issues with them (24%). One other significant problem is navigating these app stores for downloadable content (24% of buyers complained), while 20% of respondents said there aren’t personalized suggestions available to them, and 11% complained about lack of payment methods.

Fortune also mentioned data from Xerox subsidiary WDS whose study measured brand loyalty. WDS surveyed 3,000 smartphone buyers in U.S., U.K. and Australia finding that 76% of iPhone owners are staying with Apple, while only 58% of Samsung owners are willing to still choose Samsung – no other device maker has passed the 40% mark. However, Samsung is first with 34% compared to Apple’s 24% when it comes to users that either switched brands or upgraded from feature phones.

A graphic showing “brand magnetism” for different handset makers and an  infographic highlighting the Upstream survey’s findings follow below.

“Brand magnetism” graphic | Image credit: Fortune

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.