CIRP is out today with new data on mobile operating system loyalty. While it’s well-known Android has more users than iOS, Apple fans often cite that the walled-garden ecosystem has a high level of customer loyalty. However, Android enjoys very high user loyalty as well and it’s actually higher than iOS with 91%.
The new report from CIRP shows that Android loyalty came in 91%, while iOS followed five points behind at 86%. The data was “measured as the percentage of customers that remain with each operating system when activating a new phone over the twelve months ending December 2017.”
It is important to mention that the data found a range of loyalty from 85%-88% for iOS and 89%-91% for Android.
The report notes that the consumer trend seems to be picking an operating system and fully investing in it, creating steady loyalty for both Google and Apple. CIRP partner and co-founder, Mike Levin shared more:
Loyalty is also as high as we’ve ever seen, really from 85-90% 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.
CIRP also attributes some of Android’s success to a wide variety of smartphone choices, giving users the ability to try out different hardware without having to switch operating systems.
Now that most mobile phone users own smartphones, and less are going to from basic phones to smartphones, CIRP says that Google and Apple are mostly just gaining and losing customers from each other.
Because there are more Android users globally, Apple naturally wins over more customers from Google, however Android’s loyalty of such a large user base is impressive.
We know Android has a larger base of users than iOS, and because of that larger base, the absolute number of users that switch to iOS from Android is as large or larger than the absolute number of users that switch to Android from iOS. Looking at absolute number of users in this way tends to support claims that iOS gains more former Android users, than Android does former iOS users.
It is important to note that this study was done with a sample size of 500. In any case, it seems that both Android and iOS have enjoyed steady loyalty over the last few years with a small percentage of users switching platforms.