Whether or not it’s worth picking up an iOS device is really more of an open question than you might think. You’ll essentially be committing to a closed environment, in some ways. On the other hand, after using crappy Android-powered hardware, it’s hardly a surprise that a new study has shown that Android users will make the switch more voluntarily than iOS users.
Consumer Intelligence Research Partners has a breakdown of the surveys it took and it has some interesting insight into how people are buying phones. First off, iOS buyers are an interesting lot: 20% of them are switching over from Android, 26% were coming to iOS from a feature phone or basic phone, and 46% were just upgrading, which is hardly a surprise.
Samsung, meanwhile, often portrayed as the “de-facto” rival to Apple, got 46% of its upgraders from the basic phone crowd, and interestingly, Samsung and Apple were neck-and-neck with returning OS customers; Android users stuck with Samsung 43% of the time. Also, just to depress RIM, both got quite a few people fleeing from the other fruity technology, BlackBerry.
Samsung appears, mostly, to be getting its new customers from other Android-using companies, like HTC. Which is interesting in of itself, and illustrates what it’s like to be Samsung right now. Remember that Samsung and Apple are actually anger-buddies: They may compete for smartphone customers, but Samsung makes a lot of Apple components.
The big question, though, is why. If I had to guess, it’s because Apple makes it hard to leave; you can’t migrate your apps, you can’t use the same charger, you can’t pull from your iCloud to your Google account, and so on. Once you’re in iOS, you’re in for good unless you want to start all over again. And Apple still seems to have a lot of cache. It’ll be interesting to see if that changes in the next five years, or if Google can shake things up.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.