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The iPhone's 89% retention rate crushes rivals

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The iPhone's 89% retention rate crushes rivals
The iPhone has the highest retention rate in the industry blowing its rivals away with 89% of current iPhone owners saying they will stick or move to Apple in mobile, a recent survey conducted by UBS concludes. There are only two other companies that users want to switch to or remain loyal to - HTC and Samsung, but there the margins are nowhere near that of Apple. HTC had 39%, while Samsung held 28% rate.

Luckily, Android did much better than the sole phone makers as 55% of users said they’d continue using Google’s platform. At the same time, though, 31% of users currently on Android, said they were planning to switch to an iPhone. 

"Demand for iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro remains robust, with a leading ecosystem that creates sticky demand," UBS said.

The iPhone's 89  retention rate crushes rivals
The iPhone's 89  retention rate crushes rivals

At the same time, though, Apple’s huge retention rate means that some phone makers have become really unattractive. The biggest losers in the survey are Nokia and RIM. The Canadians retention rate have nosedived to 33% from 62% 18 months ago, while the Finns have the lowest result with retention percentage standing at the meager 24%.

In general, retention rates appear to be falling for most of the OEMs. Relatively, Apple’s retention rates have held up incredibly well even as its market share has risen. Interestingly, when we look at all consumers who are considering changing handset OEM provider, Apple remains a significant net beneficiary. Alongside Apple, only Samsung and HTC also appear as net beneficiaries (more users won than users lost). Interestingly, of our respondents who are current Apple subscribers, only 6% indicated that they intended to move to a different OEM, with 4% saying they were undecided. This suggests that the retention rate for Apple could end up being as high as 93%. [UBS Research]

source: UBS via Apple Insider

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posted on 23 Sep 2011, 08:19 1

1. Alantef (Posts: 288; Member since: 14 Sep 2011)


posted on 23 Sep 2011, 08:46 6

6. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

Apple is their religion. That's why.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 11:46 3

27. Alantef (Posts: 288; Member since: 14 Sep 2011)

i see that....

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 12:20 3

32. iKingTrust (banned) (Posts: 716; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

That is correct

posted on 25 Sep 2011, 03:27 1

58. NeXoS (Posts: 288; Member since: 03 May 2011)

Umm, ANY survey that was done by an investment bank should be taken with a grain of salt. Follow the money, I'll bet they have tons of Apple stock and survey only 10-20 people.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 08:26 5

2. biophone (Posts: 1955; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)

Small sample size but seems
pretty accurate.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 08:31 14

3. davecann2 (Posts: 460; Member since: 15 Mar 2011)

From my experience with iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks it’s all about the quality, functionality, and support….

Quality – Extremely good cosmetic appeal that includes premium materials. Under the hood Apple always manages to stay current and push a little with every new model. Keep in mind that the iPhone 4 has been available for over a year and it is not dated in terms of hardware.

Functionality – Apple has a knack for making a user friendly environment in both iOS and Lion. The iOS is so easy to navigate and Lion simply blows Windows out of the water.

Support – This is by far one of Apples strong qualities. The Few times I contact Apple for support I always get right through to an operator who is located in the US (I hate outsourcing) and speaks clear English. They are extremely knowledgeable of the products and very polite! Top notch all the way!

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 09:19 6

10. John (unregistered)

True :)

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 09:19 1

11. dacastrator (Posts: 232; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)

As far as i know, American operators are the rudest of all, and most of them will lie to you or doesnt know anything about what they are talking about. If Im not mistaken most call centers are being outsourced in the Philippines now. They are very polite. Probably some of them needs to work on their english for a little bit but they wont be hired if they cant speak it clear.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 10:09 4

17. davecann2 (Posts: 460; Member since: 15 Mar 2011)

Is this based on your experiance with Apples support center?

Yes, support from the philippines is awesome too. I called support for my Netgear router and they were knowledgable and polite. The English can use some work but i think it was mostly due to the accent which is understandable.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 12:24

33. dacastrator (Posts: 232; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)

Yeah, but also in general. Apple also outsourced some of their call center in the Philippines.

But in general, Most of the American companies outsourced their call centers in the Philippines. Why? 3 Things.

1. It's cost effective.
- 1 person's salary in the US is already 4 persons' salary abroad.

2. Outsourced Representatives are very patient. And cannot be pissed whatever you do.

3. They are more knowledgeble.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 09:45 6

13. PhoneLuver (Posts: 481; Member since: 05 Jul 2010)

I love my iPhone! So, far it's been the best device I've ever owned. The software is stable and doesn't crash. The device feels like a top quality device made with real materials.

I am getting bored with the interface though and if the next iPhone is just a slight upgrade I'll probably move on to something else. Probably WP7.

The problem I have with Android, not with the OS mind you, is that you can never really have "the" best Android device. No matter what you get, there's always something better available and the old handsets lose their value almost instantly after you bought them. Another thing is that almost every Android handset is made from cheap plastic and simply doesn't have a "quality" feel to it..

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 09:56 4

15. dacastrator (Posts: 232; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)

Desire HD has the best hardware among android phones. Made with auminum. Has minimal plastics. Unlike the Galaxy S II which has cheap plastics all over it.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 09:58 4

16. roldefol (Posts: 4242; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

I'm a fan of HTC's Android phones. Even the plastic ones are made from high-quality plastic and feel very comfortable to me.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 14:53

40. ibap (Posts: 758; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)

My last HTC phone was a Touch Pro 2 - built like a tank and hardware-wise is still in great shape, though sitting on my shelf. There were/are even attempts to port Android to it (it was Windows Phone 6) but a port where the sound isn't working is no good to me. I replaced it with the nearest thing I could find at the time (Epic 4G) which also had a full keyboard in it and a faster processor. So far, this is also a good phone.

Weight in a phone is good in your hand, but lousy in a pocket. Since mine is usually in my purse and not in my pocket, it is only a sometime issue. But when I put these phones in a pants pocket, I'd better be wearing a belt.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 17:56

46. AppleFanboy (Posts: 142; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)

coming from working for AppleCare, I know thats because ALL Apple call centers are located in that country, which is better than any other company, this means if you call Apple while youre in China, you'll get someone located IN China, same in every other country lol

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 08:41 8

4. ROBY (unregistered)


posted on 23 Sep 2011, 08:44 8

5. kreneo (Posts: 13; Member since: 29 Aug 2011)

That just shows how iphone is exceptional. Unlike android......... 31% want to move over to IOS!

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 10:43 10

22. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

no, it has nothing to do with OS, and everything to do with BRAND. People that leave HTC arent always going to apple or MS. Most of them are just going to another Android manufacturer.

Apple's brand loyalty index is high for 2 reasons
1) perceived quality by the user.. which is obviously important
2) because they have ZERO competition with other iOS devices. You want iOS, you get apple.. period.

Apple's 89% is not only their brand loyalty rate, but their OS loyalty rate since they are the only makers of iOS. That means 11% of current iOS users plan to jump ship.

when you break it down by manufacturer, android will always be lower because you have half a dozen makers all using the same OS. While many people jump from android to android, they dont always stay on the same manufacturer.. I know ive jumped brands many times within android just trying out all there was.

Thats all this is saying, it has nothing to do with OS loyalty (except for apple since they are one in the same), and everything to do with Brand loyalty so dont make it an OS flame war.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 11:58 2

29. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

thumb me down? prove me wrong. chicken! :)

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 16:31 3

42. stealthd (unregistered)

55% Android retention rate compared to 89% iOS retention rate. 11% iOS jumping ship compared to 45% Android jumping ship. 31% of Android owners planning on getting an iPhone. There, you're proven wrong.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 17:11 1

43. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

quote the source, because its not this article. :)

and i never mentioned android retention rate, so what exactly are you arguing against?

This is an article about OEM (manufacturers), not about OS, that was my point.

posted on 24 Sep 2011, 15:55 1

55. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Sorry you were proven wrong

posted on 24 Sep 2011, 22:26

57. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

aww look, taco chiming in to try to prove someone wrong.. yet being wrong himself.. just like old times.


posted on 23 Sep 2011, 17:12 1

44. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

and also, even if your numbers are accurate, which they arent, that doesnt mean everyone leaving android is getting an iphone. there is also WP7, and dont forget Bada or peter will beat you.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 18:00 1

47. AppleFanboy (Posts: 142; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)

Thing is these f@gdroids wont see it that way, they wont see that when they talk about phone sales, they add all Android devices together, when they talk about the amount of people leaving them, they wanna set them up individually, not as a whole, sounds a little bit of a biased survey you f@gdroids wanna do...

posted on 24 Sep 2011, 00:31 2

52. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

lol.. proving your an iDiot iSheep in 3... 2.... 1... oh wait.. u already proved that with your comment...lol

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 08:51 9

7. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

31% of android users want to switch to iOS. If iPhone launches on all carriers there can be a mass exodus from android to Apple. I'm not surprised. People get tires of constant force closes, power cycles and terrible battery life. Plus android doesn't support their products like Apple.

This flies in the face of droidbots claiming how superior android is. Let's sit back and watch all the excuses.

"this survey is flawed"

"its Apple marketing"

"android has more market share"

"iphonearena is soo biased!"

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 10:12 4

18. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

You read the part in the source where it said the sample size was about five hundred people, right? Furthermore, there's no note on how many people in the overall sample size actually own each kind of phone.

Anyway, I'm not going to get my panties in a twist over a survey by a stock analysis company that's trying to drive Apple stock higher.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 10:16 3

20. hepresearch (unregistered)

Hahaha... you said "get my panties in a twist"... lol!


posted on 23 Sep 2011, 10:20 1

21. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Yes. I. Did. Lol. Jury is still out on whether that's because I woke up five minutes before writing the comment or whether I am a comic genius. ;)

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 14:51 1

39. Sniggs (unregistered)

I'm drinking coffee five minutes after I wake up....Your on phonearena? Get a life, please!!

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 18:21

48. AppleFanboy (Posts: 142; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)

hey hey hey you leave sniggly alone lol its been a long time sniggly (dramatic faceoff music in the background)

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 18:40

49. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Hey, AppleFanboy. :) I haven't posted quite as much recently. How are you?

And Sniggs, five minutes after I wake up I'm still in bed checking every corner of the internet I visit on my phone. I'm a geek. Get over it.

And coffee makes me physically ill. I can't drink it.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 19:56

51. Sniggs (unregistered)


Wasn't trying to be mean...I should have put an "lol", sorry bout that.

posted on 24 Sep 2011, 06:17

54. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

lack of coffee makes me physically ill. all this medical studying crap makes u not have choice but to live on caffiene.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 14:48 1

38. idiotwind13 (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Dec 2008)

The survey absolutely is flawed from a pure statistics perspective. If you assume the number of iPhone users in the sample (515) is roughly proportionate to the number in the general population (about 22%) that means the total number of iPhone owners surveyed was right around 100. Ask a statistician how reliable a survey with that sample size is.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 08:53 4

8. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Where's ilia with his claims of all the dissatisfied Apple users? I guess adults don't care about widgets and hello kitty wallpaper.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 10:44

23. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

i love my hello kitty wallpapers. shhh.. dont tell anyone though, its a secret.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 09:13 1

9. roldefol (Posts: 4242; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

Apple was smart with its design, promotion and support of the iPhone. They took their iPod domination, adapted it to create a phenomenon in the industry and rode it all the way to ludicrous stock performance. They don't give current users much to complain about, so this study doesn't surprise me.

That said, I don't want an iPhone. It's too small for my hands, I prefer the customizable Android experience and want to use LTE today instead of when it's deemed mature enough for an iPhone. People on this site should accept that Android and iPhone aren't mutually exclusive products. They appeal to different types of customers and should be allowed to coexist without rampant mutual flame/trollwars. (Hey, a guy can dream.)

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 09:23 1

12. Mike S (unregistered)

Only 89%...? The way the press makes it sound... It is more like 100%.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 10:14 3

19. hepresearch (unregistered)

I am not surprised... although I am not a fan of anything Apple-branded, I have to give credit where credit is due... the iPhone, through all of its past iterations to the current version, have, for the most part, been exceptionally stable and smooth, and work exceptionally well for those who need an intuitive, uncomplicated smartphone experience. How many of us truly bother to do things like write apps, or mod, or actually work on the physical hardware of our phones? The majority of users do none of these... I think most of us must admit that, by being developers or engineers, we are the "weird" ones in this consumer-centric society.

Undeniably, Apple makes a great product in the iPhone. It seems to me that a lot of people grab an Android for their first smartphone, and then discover that it isn't exactly what they were looking for... maybe they wanted to "look" geeky, or maybe they "thought" they wanted to write apps, or whatever... but then they discover that they are not the tech-geeks that they thought they were and/or they figure out that they don't feel like being on the frontier of open-source development. Android is growing so fast because it has inspired more people worldwide into getting their first smartphone than any other platform has in the past (with the possible exception of Symbian... but Android will inevitably eclipse the total unit volume of Symbian, too, if it hasn't already), but more people are "migrating" from other OS's to iOS in droves. Apple is showing that they command the market in two key segments: 1) the established developers who are more organized and profitable, and 2) the refined users who value stability over raw power in a smartphone. By commanding these two segments, Apple can guarantee themselves a higher profit per unit, and also offer greater profits on apps for both themselves and the developers involved... Apple is a money-making machine, for both itself and its developers, as a result. The business models alone are evidence that Google's Android will remain the OS of the common man who wants to be innovative, and that Apple's iOS will remain the OS of the elite, rich, and famous (and adoring wanna-be's).

It would be fun to model this OS-hopping behavior through differential equations... kind of like the predator-prey balance model in "calculus 3". You get your initial data on market share, survey data from first-time smartphone buyers, and survey data on customer retention for smartphone platforms... then you plug the data into the appropriate matrix, and you might be able to predict changes in OS market share with some crude level of accuracy. Fun fun fun!

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 14:08

35. bolaG (Posts: 468; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)

you got a little above with "calculus 3" but I get what your saying lol

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 11:21 1

24. gallitoking (Posts: 4718; Member since: 17 May 2011)

like usual we have trolls that are disputing numbers... making excuses... not surprise if the call iphonearena now..accusing the author in being pro iphone... what else.. ohhh.... and this is the best one.. the Apple followers are in a cult and are brainwashed.......

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 11:58

28. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

and apparently people that dont have iphones are willingly in the cult and brainwashed too, eh gallito? lololol

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 11:26

25. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

It's because APPLE have a larger fan base Pius with their Itunes with over 1 million songs to purchase downloads movies and TV shows even though I hate to say it.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 11:39 1

26. ahmadickhard (unregistered)

There is very simple explaination for this "good" retention rate for Apple product.
The truth is, most of iPhone users are chained up & tight down by the iTune police. All their song & data are locked up by iTune. In order to access them, u need to move from one iPhone prison cell to another newer prison cell when Apple finished building. They are on life sentence with no parol......Unless they make a prison break away. Most sheep just follow the warden hahaha...
So, the moral of the story is: Don't be a sheep & get screwed by Steve!! LOL

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 12:00

30. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)

Apple style secrecy reciprocates more attention because nobody has an idea how's the next generation iPhone going to turn out.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 12:11

31. darth8ball (Posts: 520; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)

Obviously Apple has done a phenominal job of marketing their products and designing an ecosystem that makes it hard to leave.
But once again I need to remind everyone that selling the most of a product doesn't make it the 'best' only the most popular.
Best is subjective, "best for me", "best for him" etc..
Popular is not subjective that can be backed by hard facts.(numbers sold highest retention rate)
So the iPhone being the most 'popular' device doesn't make it the best

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 13:52

34. bambamboogy02 (unregistered)

Why dont they compare just the OS's? IOS is on ONE phone, while samsung, morotola, pantec, HTC, and about a handul of other companies manufacture Android handsets. Why not do a poll on the type of coffee people preffer, and if they would switch brands? or what kind of candy does everyone like and how likely they are to change there prefference up? I mean come on, Lets make these polls fair. Are we only talking about the hardware people love or software? Because Apples hardware isn't that great. Are you really going to tell me a GLASS phone is a smart idea? really? are you?

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 14:21

36. unknown mojo (unregistered)

Somebody said it earlier, Apple took advantage of the booming online music download industry and ran with it. Everyone, whether PC or Mac user had ipods. The iphone was launched way before android and took full control of the smartphone market, ATT's anyway. They had the music industry by the jewels and consumers with ipod's by the jewels, and now have phone carriers by the jewels. They sell iphones to Verizon/ATT for over $600. There is not a single android, not even LTE, that runs over $600. And people wonder why Apple is so successful. How can they justify selling a phone for that pricetag when you can buy an ipad2 wifi model with 16GB for $499??? And a phone with much less in regards to parts and labor runs $150 more??? The company is ripping off Verizon/ATT and justifies it with their brand name.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 14:44

37. idiotwind13 (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Dec 2008)

This survey was of a total of 515 smartphone owners. Forgive me if I hesitate to lend too much creedence to a survey whose sample size is about 10% of what it would need to be to get any statistically meaningful numbers.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 15:04

41. niels (unregistered)

Since there are twice as much android users then iOS users the number of people that will never leave Android is much greater.

Android also sells a lot of cheap phones. I guess in that price categorie people don't really care about Android and all the cool features.

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 17:19

45. gallitoking (Posts: 4718; Member since: 17 May 2011)

why is it so hard for fandroids to digest this one... it may not be accurate but any survey is..... when it comes to survey none are accurate so please stop... dont give Android a bad name...

posted on 24 Sep 2011, 00:33

53. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

digest what? that you idiot iOS lovers all seem to lack reading comprehension?? lolol


i knew a bunch of idiots would start making this about OS because they cant comprehend the article. I even spelled it out in plain english..

posted on 25 Sep 2011, 21:59

60. stevescrewu (unregistered)

Don't be a sheep & get screwed by Steve :P

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