Apple iPhone, iPad Owners Most Loyal: Report

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

The research also examines the impact of three core areas when it comes to a smartphone consumer's user experience.

Nearly one in five consumers, who own both an iPad and an iPhone, say switching smartphones is more difficult than changing bank accounts. A simple, integrated user experience is driving consumers’ brand loyalty to their smartphones and they are less likely to switch brands the more applications and services they use on the device, new research from GfK finds.

GfK’s report on loyalty in the digital ecosystem was undertaken across nine countries–Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, UK and the United States–and examined consumers’ barriers to switching smartphone types and the impact of their attitudes toward the overall user experience.

Nearly one in five (19 percent) of consumers that own both an iPad and an iPhone believe that changing types of smartphone is more difficult than changing bank accounts or gas or electricity providers. As consumers build digital ecosystems and their own world of content on handsets, the study shows that their loyalty to their smartphone brand increases with the number of apps and services they use. The research reveals that the tipping point for loyalty is when a consumer uses seven or more services on their device.

Consumers in the United States are the most likely to use seven or more services (61 percent), followed closely by China (56 percent) and Brazil (53 percent). In comparison to this, European countries use fewer services on their smartphones; France and Italy (46 percent), Germany (45 percent), Spain (43 percent) and the UK (42 percent).

The research also examines the impact of three core areas when it comes to consumers’ user experience; simplicity of use, integration of features and access to content. Simplicity is key and 72 percent of smartphone users say they find it easy to access their device’s applications and navigate the menu system. Therefore, moving from a smartphone that they are familiar with is the biggest challenge to switching devices.

In fact, the research reveals that the main barriers to switching all relate to user experience: 33 percent of respondents cited disrupting their current smartphone setup (i.e., the apps and features in use) 29 percent - having to learn how to use another type of smartphone and 28 percent - having to move their content (music, video, books, apps) from one type of smartphone to another.

Consumers who build a library of media and content are demanding access to all of their digital content, irrespective of the device they are using. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of smartphone owners think it is important to access the content such as music, books and apps on any Internet-enabled device, such as smartphones, tablets and TVs. This figure increases to 80 percent and becomes even more important to consumers that own all three devices - a tablet, smartphone and PC.