Amidst the gloom and doom predictions about the dark and murky future of Apple’s iPhone comes a survey that actually paints a rather bright outlook for the Cupertino company’s popular handset. The Yankee Group has taken a survey, crunched some numbers, and has determined that Apple will whiz by Android in market share by 2015, that is if Apple’s brand loyalty numbers hold up in the next few years.
Two key factors that will drive Apple’s ownership past Android’s peak: Apple’s unmatched ecosystem loyalty and people upgrading from feature phones to their first smartphone.
“While buying intent for new customers to both Apple’s and Android’s ecosystem is about the same, platform loyalty is not,” according to Yankee, which polled 16,000 consumers over the last year.
Moreover, if Apple should release a lower-cost iPhone that addresses the low-end of first-time smartphone buyers, the trend could favor the company even more.
Yankee likens the Apple and Android ecosystems to two buckets of water, and the Android bucket is leaking badly:
New smartphone buyers – mostly upgrading feature phone owners – fall like rain into the two big buckets about equally, with a smaller number falling into Windows Phone and BlackBerry buckets. However, the Android bucket leaks badly, losing about one in five of all the owners put into it.
The Apple bucket leaks only about seven percent of its contents, so it retains more of the customers that fall into it. The Apple bucket will fill up faster and higher than the Android one, regardless of the fact that the Apple bucket may have had fewer owners in it to begin with.
Yankee states that one big advantage Apple has in its corner is the OS ecosystem, “Apple’s “black hole” ecosystem captures subscribers who never leave, while Android smartphones are losing one out of every six customers to other manufacturers. These trends will drive Apple ownership well past Android ownership by 2015 and will reinforce Apple’s dominance in tablets as well.”
Nine percent of Apple owners plan to switch to another platform when they purchase their next phone, while 24 percent of Android users are planning to jump ship, with eighteen percent of Android owners planning on moving over to the iPhone when the time comes.
While this is yet another market research survey, and as a great man once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics,” it is nice to see a survey that is looking at the users and their plans, instead of just raw shipping numbers.
What do you think readers? Will Apple’s brand loyalty help it eventually surpass Android in the marketplace, or are the Android numbers too large to ever catch up to? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.