Loyalty to Apple runs so deep in iPhone and iPad users, and they are so unlikely to switch to another platform that one analyst has estimated their total collective value at nearly $295 billion.
Bill Shope with Goldman Sachs said in a note to investors on Friday that he believes the average single iOS customer is worth $1,053. That assumes the average selling price of an iOS device for the June quarter is $535 with 5 percent erosion, gross margin is 45 percent, and annual defections are 5 percent.
“This implies a cumulative iOS customer value of nearly $295 billion on today’s installed base, without any consideration for the content, services or peripherals streams, or for the platform’s growth potential,” Shope wrote.
At that value, iOS customers represent about 55 percent of Apple’s current market cap.
In an effort to better understand the costs users face if they switch platforms, Goldman Sachs conducted a consumer survey of over 1,000 respondents.
21 percent of those surveyed said said no discount, regardless of the amount, would make it worth their while to leave Apple’s platform. Among those who said they would consider switching, more than half of those said they would need a discount greater than 30 percent.
71 percent of those polled said they are “highly likely” to choose an Apple device as their next tablet or smartphone. Another 23 percent are “likely” to stick with Apple, while only 1 percent were “unlikely” to hang in there with Apple.
When a customer owns more than one Apple device, switching costs grow. The new iCloud service adds yet another layer to the switching costs. 30 percent polled said they are paying for extras storage capacity or iTunes Match with iCloud.
Shope estimates that the switching cost per iOS user ranges between $122 and $301. That implies the average user would need a discount of 49 percent to switch to a competing platform.