Smartphone users more loyal to Android than iOS: Study

The retention rate is higher on Android than on iOS.

  • Published: March 9, 2018 12:38 PM IST

Android users are more loyal to their chosen OS as compared to Apple iOS users, a new study has revealed. According to the study, not only is the loyalty more when it comes to Android users, but it has been steady, at the highest levels, since early 2016.

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) has released its report on mobile phone operating system, consumer behavior in the US. The study highlights that Android has a loyalty rate of 91 percent, whereas iOS has a loyalty rate of 86 percent. The rate is measured as a percentage of customers that remain with each operating system when activating a new phone over the 12 months ending December 2017.

The study further highlights the Android loyalty rate was 89-91 percent from January 2016 to December 2017. In comparison, the iOS loyalty rate was 85-88 percent.

CIRP partner and co-founder, Mike Levin said, “Loyalty for both Android and iOS increased in 2015 and into 2016, when it leveled off for both operating systems.” He further said,”Loyalty is also as high as we’ve ever seen, really from 85-90 percent at any given point. With only two mobile operating systems at this point, it appears users now pick one, learn it, invest in apps and storage, and stick with it. Now, Apple and Google need to figure out how to sell products and services to these loyal customer bases.”

To recall, 2014 was the year when Android smartphones including Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, and Moto Droid Turbo were launched to counter the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus lineup. The year also marked the debut of the OnePlus One smartphone.

Co-founder Josh Lowitz said, “Android user loyalty now slightly exceeds that of iOS users,” adding, “Over time, Android loyalty gradually increased, as it achieved parity in the availability of apps, music and video, and as the user experience on the two platforms became more similar. Android users also benefit from a wide range of phones
from different manufacturers, so they can switch hardware without learning a new operating system.”

The researchers point that the two platforms compete more aggressively as the number of first-time smartphone buyers shrinks. It is also worth mentioning that the rate of switching between Android and iOS is different than the absolute number of users that switch between the two operating systems.

As Lowitz explained, it is known that the Android userbase is larger than iOS. Given the larger user base, the absolute number of users who switch from iOS to Android is as larger than the absolute number of users who switch vice versa. Lowitz said that looking at the absolute number of users in this way tends to support claims that iOS gains more former Android users, than Android does former iOS users.

In addition to the range of Android manufacturers users can choose from, the price difference is also one of the factors which can be attributed to the growing success and consumer loyalty to the platform. iOS, on the other hand, is a closed ecosystem where premium smartphones are the only way.

  • Published Date: March 9, 2018 12:38 PM IST