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Guess who wins the brand loyalty fight between iPhone and Android

Published Apr 7th, 2021 4:32PM EDT
iOS vs Android
Image: Apple

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Here are a couple of new data points that will add more fuel to the ongoing iOS vs Android debate. First, US teenagers really, really love their iPhones, according to a new Piper Sandler survey of more than 7,000 teens.

Apple’s flagship consumer product carries immense brand loyalty among this demographic, 88% of whom own an iPhone — with a little more than that, 90%, expecting the next phone they own to likewise be an iPhone. And among the other products and offerings from brands that teens are pretty addicted to, the survey also tags Netflix, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, Amazon as well as Apple Pay as all getting high marks from teens. Meanwhile, it’s not just teens who see iPhones as highly coveted status symbols and luxury items. A separate brand loyalty survey has also found peoples’ loyalty to Apple and to their iPhones has hit an all-time high, while the affection for Android is undergoing a slide.

The survey from of more than 5,000 US-based smartphone owners found, among other things, that:

  • Brand loyalty for Apple is at an all-time high of almost 92%, up from 90.5% in 2019;
  • Apple users are almost 18% more loyal to their iPhones than Samsung users are to their mobile devices;
  • Samsung loyalty has dropped from 85.7% in 2019 to 74% in 2021, and 26% of Samsung users said they’ll switch to another brand the next time they upgrade;
  • And of those Samsung defectors, a majority (53%) will switch to an iPhone the next time they upgrade, with most (31.5%) indicating privacy concerns as the main reason for the switch.

When the Apple loyalists, as part of this survey, were asked why they’d be sticking with the iPhone going forward, most cited reasons like they’ve not encountered any problems, so why change; it’s the brand they like best; and that they’re locked into Apple’s ecosystem. On a related note, this new survey also includes the results from asking respondents to name their favorite model from a list of flagship smartphones released in August 2020 or thereafter.

With 17% and 12.7% of the vote, respectively, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max topped the list, while other iPhone models also show up down the rest of the list that you can check out here, ranked in the order of the most votes received:

  1. Apple iPhone 12 — 17%
  2. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max — 12.7%
  3. Samsung Galaxy S21 — 11.4%
  4. Apple iPhone 12 Pro — 10.6%
  5. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra — 10%
  6. Samsung Galaxy S21+ — 9%
  7. Google Pixel 5 — 8.1%
  8. Apple iPhone 12 Mini — 6.3%
  9. Other — 5%
  10. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G — 3.1%
  11. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G — 2.5%
  12. LG Wing 5G — 2.3%
  13. Motorola Razr 5G — 1.2%
  14. Motorola Edge S — 0.8%

This degree of iPhone loyalty, by the way, helps explain why the iPhone also just hit a milestone that would be comparatively difficult for Google to achieve with Android. The adoption rate for the new version of iOS, always incredibly high, has now hit a 90% adoption rate for iOS 14, according to a Mixpanel report.

As we noted in a previous post, iOS 14 adoption surpassed 90% near the end of March, and it has held steady through the first few days of April. iOS 14 launched to the public on September 16th, and by late October, iOS 14 had overtaken iOS 13 with more than 50% of the market share.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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