Are iPhone Owners Becoming Less Loyal?

Seems that some of the shine might be wearing off the apple of Apple’s eye—the iPhone. Last year roughly 90% (93% of U.S., 88% of W. Europeans) of iPhone owners said they’d buy an iPhone again. Now? it’s 88-75% (88% U.S., 75% W. Europe). Is this a big problem for Apple or just a blip?

Paul Brown of Strategy Analytics said this about the survey:

“There is no doubt that Apple is continuing its success in retaining existing user base while attracting new customers,” commented Paul Brown, Director at Strategy Analytics’ User Experience Practice. “However, negative press prompted by a perceived lack of recent innovation by Apple has meant we are starting to see some growth in the number of previously highly loyal consumers who are now reconsidering whether or not they will purchase a new iPhone for their next device.” Via: Strategy Analytics: Apple iPhone Owner Loyalty Declines | Business Wire,

Okay, there is solid competition. That’s good. Yeah, Apple hasn’t pushed the boundaries of coolness since the iPhone 4 (that was my first iPhone, btw). The iPhone 5 (my wife scooped one up early, I’m getting one soon), yeah it’s a nice iteration or evolution of the iPhone 4, but it’s not a huge change.

Photo from Flickr by Lara604

Point: Competitors.

CNET pulled these data from the study:

The firm’s study found that only 88 percent of U.S. iPhone owners are likely to buy another Apple smartphone, down from 93 percent in 2011. In Western Europe, the total is 75 percent, down from 88 percent last year. Via: iPhone users get less loyal | Apple – CNET News

Which, you know, 88% and 75% are awesome numbers, really. I don’t think car makers enjoy that kind of widespread loyalty. The thing that I wonder about iPhone retention is this—is it all about the apps?

In my case it is certainly mostly about the apps. I love my iPhone and iPad (I don’t think my iPod nano even has juice in it). I love how they both work with my Mac and how many of the apps work so well together. That said, if I decided to switch to Android, ouch. I’d be giving up hundreds of dollars of apps. Maybe I don’t need to buy all of them again. Maybe there are a lot of free options on Android that would suffice, but I’d still wind up buying a bunch of apps and that keeps me very loyal to Apple.

That, however, isn’t a good thing to rely on. New apps can be purchased and it wouldn’t take much for retailers/manufacturers to start giving rebates or app credits or something akin to lure iOS loyalists to their side. Expensive, yes. Daring, certainly. Possible, oh heck yeah.

To regain its foothold on awesomeness, Apple needs to step up their game. Which, again, points squarely at the changes Tim Cook made yesterday. Get a team that can and will work well together. Get a team that will share your vision and passion and make it happen.

That’s what will bring Apple fans back into the fold and keep us loyal for years to come, because we all know that it won’t be too long before the must have device doesn’t come from Apple. It’s only a matter of time.

Update: Just checking my updated feeds and found via The Loop that Kantar Worldpanel ComTech says the iPhone 5 has slowed Android growth rates—iPhone 5 release slows Android gains. Hmm, so fewer iPhone owners are loyal, but there just more of them!

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  • hatedknight

    i have been with iphone for 5 years, this is the first year i wasnt in line to get an iPhone. I have a lot of apps and gear for iPhone, but i feel as though apple is losing its way. now i know everyone will say ipad this or ipad mini this or iPhone 5 that but if you that away the name and brand and just look at the specs, apple is losing its edge and the sight of leading the way! i am not happy with what they have and are doing. i mean just google steve jobs thoughts on a ipad mini! look at his own words for larger iPhone!

    They are only playing catch up, like it or hate it that is what they are doing. They are also more worried about market share than the product, there is more than one site saying the same, just google it.,when if they would just look at their pasted they would see leading and making a kick ass product in itself brings money. I think the people in charge is more in line with “How can we make more money?” than how to make the best product. they arent leading they have become followers. thats not the apple i love and respect!!!!

    The only thing i can do is take my money to a different company thats at lest leading or trying to, not depending on blindless shoppers snapping up an item just because it has and apple on it. Its sad to write these words as i am a true fan of all they do, just i dont pay top dollar for a catch up item. sorry not from my apple i won’t!
    written on my 17″ macbook pro, the greatest laptop i have ever owned :)

    • twandesign

      my iphone days are over. no longer do apple have the best smart phone. im’m going galaxy 3. just like that. the iphone 4s and 5 has been a major disappointment

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Budhu/776509535 Andy Budhu

        i have gs3 on tmobile. you will regret the move. i did it for 4g speeds. just waiting for 19oo mhz to open so i can get the iphone 5.

      • moodi

        Totally agree with you.

    • http://trishussey.com Tris Hussey

      Yes, I think the in-fighting at Apple got in the way of doing something awesome. Maybe the next great thing is coming. We can only hope.

    • moodi

      Same as you here but I did start to lose my faith on Apple . Days ago i side it , the introduction of iPhone 5 is the beginning of the end for Apple.

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    there are a number of elements even external to the company as well. cell network companies to start with and more competitors entering the market of smartphones with touch screen and plenty of features. it’s taken a while to design a project which can be an iphone competitor still, the latest iphone hasn’t been impressive for several reasons an including but not limited to designers making a good brick to hold paper on the desk for the ones who can afford a unlocked iphone (no 24 mnths contract) and for the ones working in public administration who can now enjoy two iphones on their desks. ( to support GDP, gross domestic product. P.A may as well decide to contract 24 mnths deals for all the desks in public administration and replace those ugly and plastic -pollution/trash- trays that normally sit on the desks of accountants and administrative) Chart below was taken in mid october still showing the perception of apple inc after iphone5 launch.

  • Nobby

    You don’t have an iPhone 5… What sort of website is this. You just lost a whole lot of credibility sir

    • http://www.iphonehacks.com iPhoneHacks

      Tris is getting one soon and it’s does mean we don’t have an iPhone 5 .. Tons of screenshots of the iOS 6 features were taken on an iPhone 5

      We love it!

    • grim reefa

      There is more then one writer for site you know and they all dont “have” to have the latest model. You sound like a typical Apple brainwashed kid who thinks he HAS to have latest Apple device just because its Apple, dude grow up and get a life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dcdude329 Jerry Bellino

    Fewer iPhone owners / Apple fans are loyal because Apple shows us generally the same software every year, which is why it will be interesting to see what Apple does with iOS 7 under Jony Ive management. Put it this way; more people are trying Android just to try it now, it is a new experience. With major android devices that seem to rule over iPhone, like the s3 or Nexus 4, users of the iPhone majority want to just try something new. Every Apple fan wants widgets and a more fun UI, and now as Apple is opening its mind up and trying to compete with other companies, the chance of getting some of the features we want is becoming more and more likely. Apple needs to up its game, even though I think they are doing an excellent job.