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Apple, Google: Is iOS Thefting Androiders?

The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone might be getting stickier among smartphone users than it used to be. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) conducted a new survey that has thrown some interesting new statistics. Numbers show that Apple might be “stealing” former users of the Android platform by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). Apple’s representatives have formally stated that they’re not into growing their market share exponentially, so the numbers thrown by the CIRP survey seem to show that whatever is happening might be unintentional, shall we say.

Is it really “stealing”?

CIRP interviewed 400 new iPhone 5S and 5C buyers and found out that more than 20 percent of those surveyed were upgrading from Google Android devices. Interestingly, this is a significant upgrade, since the influx of customers moving towards Apple’s OS from Android was about 16 percent last year. Mike Levin, CIRP partner and co-founder, said that “ideally, Apple attracts a significant percent of its customers from Android and other systems.” If one looks at the entire report, it comes out that 20 percent of the converts Apple is seeing come from Samsung hardware customers. But are numbers the only thing to see?

Credit: android-logo-white by incredibleguy

It has been pointed out that the survey hasn’t made a clear difference on what kind of Google Android devices these customers where users, neither on what version OS of Android their devices used. This point seems to bring some controversy to the idea of Apple’s iPhone being more popular and “stealing” Android users. There might be some room for doubt. Not necessarily these customers were “abandoning” high-technology smartphones, it could just be they were upgrading a several-years-old Android device that used one of the earlier versions of Android.

The importance of loyalty

The company also saw a substantial increase in users coming from a previous iPhone during this year’s most recent iPhone launch –the 5S and 5C devices. This might be the result of two things. One, there are very few customers left without a smartphone in the U.S. Two, Apple is known for being one of the brands that have the most loyal customers –and keeping them is one of the company’s most precious goals.

The “stickiness” of the iOS ecosystem is a topic that can be easily overlooked when one tries to understand the significance of smartphone marketshare. Consumers are more likely to stick with brands and products that provide an enjoyable experience and also work for them. Apple is one of them. Although the figures thrown out by CIRP regarding smartphones marketshare might be informative, it is necessary to look beyond the numbers to come up with more significant information before calling Apple’s iPhone a Google Android user thief.

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