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Apple iPhone Brand Loyalty in US at All-Time High


Occasionally, when we write about the Apple iPhone, we get reader letters and comments about how Android phones are really where it’s at. And worldwide, of course, Android is the market leader. But here in the United States, Apple’s smartphone brand enjoys the most loyal users. That’s according to a new survey of 5,000 US smartphone users ages 18 and older, conducted from March 3 to 20, 2021, by SellCell.com. (The site has a vested interest in the topic—it resells people’s old phones.)

The numbers are a bit staggering: Almost 92% of respondents who own an iPhone plan to stick with the brand when they upgrade to a new phone. That number was a slight increase from the last time SellCell did the survey back in 2019.

By contrast, Samsung Galaxy phone owners will stick with another Samsung just 74% of the time. That number dropped way down, from 86%. The other major Android-based phone brands all are down as well. Google Pixel users would stay with that brand only 65% of the time (down from 84%). And results are much worse for LG—37% would stay, down from 61%—and Motorola: 29%, down from 61%.

Sellcell.com say it is not surprised by the latter two, as those companies’ US market share has been eroding for a while. It also thinks that Samsung and Google are suffering because of consumers’ growing privacy consciousness—something Apple is looking to exploit via new public awareness about user tracking.

When asked why they would stay with their current brand, most people responded, “I like my current brand of phone best and don’t want to change.” For Apple users, the second biggest reason was that people are too tied to the ecosystem of apps and services.

Apple iPhone Users – Reasons to Stay

Apple iPhone Users – Reasons to Stay

For Samsung users, the second biggest reason to stay is that users claim they’ve never had an issue with the brand, so why move? The ecosystem is barely a consideration.

Samsung Galaxy Users – Reasons to stay

Samsung Galaxy Users – Reasons to stay

Interesting to note that a larger number of Samsung users think switching to iOS would be a hassle (18%) than do the iPhone users who don’t want to switch to Android (10%).

As for what brands defectors would pick, those picks tends to stay in the big three. iPhone users who would switch would go to Samsung (46%) or Google (35%) most of the time. The defections to the iPhone are much higher, however—Samsung’s got defectors going to Apple 52.9% of the time and switching to Google Pixels only 24%.

The reasons to switch are what the smartphone makers should pay most attention to, since those are the areas that need improvement. The small percentage of iPhone users looking to defect are mostly doing it because they consider that the other brand either has better tech (38%) or better design (26.4%).

Apple iPhone Users – Reasons to Switch to a New Brand

Apple iPhone Users – Reasons to Switch to a New Brand

Backing up what SellCell.com said about Android defectors, the numbers show Samsung users would jump ship because other brands have better privacy (31.5%).

Samsung Galaxy Users – Reasons to Switch to a New Brand

Samsung Galaxy Users – Reasons to Switch to a New Brand

The survey also asked about the top phone models that have come out since August of 2020, and the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Max topped the list. The Samsung Galaxy S21 was third. Sadly, the iPhone 12 mini, our favorite, landed only at #8—that’s probably why Apple is scaling back production on the smaller model.

For the full report, go to SellCell.com.

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