Apple's internal research revealed: why customers chose Android over the iPhone

Apple's internal research revealed: why customers chose Android over the iPhone
A couple of years ago Apple was facing a dilemma. It had committed to an exclusive deal with AT&T for five years, but had just watched Android surge past the iPhone in terms of market share. On the one hand, surely being on just one carrier was holding them back, but on the other hand AT&T was paying through the nose for each exclusive iPhone they sold, which helped Apple to achieve more profitability than anyone else in the mobile phone market. To evaluate the impact of carrier exclusivity Apple commissioned a poll of Android owners to see why those chose the phone over an iPhone.

Thanks to the Apple v. Samsung trial we know get to know what Apple’s internal study discovered. At the time 25% of Android phone owners had considered buying an iPhone before settling on an Android handset. Of that 25% that did consider getting an iPhone, the number one reason for going with an Android was not wanting to switch carriers (43%). Next up was trusting Google as a brand (36%) and 30% wanted a larger screen size than an iPhone offered.

Note that respondents could check more than one answer; so a consumer may have preferred the screen size, turn-by-turn GPS, and not having to change carriers. Indeed, Apple now offering devices on most carriers has not lead to a collapse in Android’s market share (although new iPhone launches now lead to a temporary annual recalibration of market share between the two platforms), but the carrier exclusivity issue was the one that Apple could most easily fix, and their market share has indeed grown since then in the United States.

The entire list reads as follows:

  • 43% Wanted to stay with current provider
  • 36% Trusted Google brand
  • 30% Preferred larger screen
  • 27% Preferred Android Market
  • 26% Wanted better Google services intergration
  • 25% Wanted latest and greatest smartphone
  • 25% Wanted turn-by-turn GPS
  • 25% Wanted latest and greatest technology

source: The Verge



1. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

These "research studies" just make me giggle.

4. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

giggle as opposed google?

50. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

i c wut u did thar

65. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You read that off a LaffyTaffy wrapper didn't you?

28. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

No choice shows the disadvantage of iphone. How could Apple tell it was reliable if the question list was not exclusive?

64. MeoCao unregistered

If the analysyis is correct then iPhone market share must be over 50% by now. But it is not.

75. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

that's not the way math works bro

2. Jphones

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

haha thats what they get for making a phone that not unique in the sense all the iphones are the same android has a phone for every possible user. Smh apple just stick to making computers. Android is saying retina display these peanuts

26. Phullofphil

Posts: 1822; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Are you blind to the fact that regardless of androids market share that the iPhone is the reason why apple is bigger than oil and makes the biggest profits in the industry and has a crazy amount of cash. We as consumers need apple android and even Microsofts windows phone 8 to all be successfully. Even other companies if there is any market share left. We would not see the smartphones get the technology we see today grow as fast without this competitive companies trying to one up the other. We are right now going through what could be the best times for being a owner of the smart phone as far as innovation in operating systems and technology in hardware. The only draw back being it might be happening to fast to where especially android phones your phones getting outdated faster and faster. Apple being somewhat different but still the same of sorts. Being passed up buy some android handsets, going back and forth for our benefit really. I really think the only thing really holding back even greater possibilities especially on the software side is the us carriers. But that another topic

34. Jphones

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

umm sir we don't actually need apple and their off shore bank accounts, essential slave labor over seas and a workforce over here mostly comprised of Temps. I'm saying that While the iphone is great technology it lacks the individualism most of us want in things we own. Especially when it comes to us in the tech community wow I can reorganize my apps and put a case on my iphone doesn't cut it as individualism. Variety is key especially in America nobody wants to be like everybody else

70. bsweetftbll

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

while i agree that a good number of people want variety, and individualism, i dont think thats the essential reason people switch to android. Most of us seem to forget that the majority of people dont do any research when buying a phone, and a good number dont care as long as it makes calls. some people see an iphone as i $200 cell with email ability, just like they would see the galaxy sIII as a $200 cell with email ability, a lot of people look at price, and, not that it is a bad thing, android usually beats the iphone in pricing. usually.

39. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Having a quickly innovation is never a draw back if you view it with an open mind. Quickly innovation would result in more features that would be useful to you when you do get that new phone. Apple has been feeling the strain of not innovating fast enough with their recent WDC. Apple are showing off feature that are already available in their competitors product such as noticafication bar in iOS 5 and browser url box search intregation in their Safaria browser. Their lawsuit are design to disrupt the competitions while they play catch up with technology.

49. Jphones

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

very good point they just don't want others to make money because they think of things to late. I mean android ecosystem might be fragmented due to the bigger software updates coming at least 2 a year and those crappiers aka carriers takin so long.We as consumers love that and google knows it because they know we will go out and get the latest and greatest or just wait for an ota update or a mod. iphone you can jailbreak wow so I can use it on any carrier I want but won't get any updates? It's a supposed status symbol oh look I have an iphone or better yet I carry around one of the most expensive things I own and its made out of glass and the case isn't free apple really cares about my money.

74. Fuego84

Posts: 357; Member since: May 13, 2012

Android phones being outdated faster and faster... Well that's alot better than buying an outdated iPhone on launch day.

79. MeoCao unregistered

I disagree with the argument that we need many OSes to keep the competion going. Android is open source and there is always the competion within Android like Sense, TouchWiz.. they can be called separate OSes in their own right. The thing that keeps Android unified is Google's innovation that outpaces innovation of SS or HTC or Sony.

87. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

No OSes require anyone permissions to compete openly, fairly for the advancement of mobile techology. Google investment in techology thru people is a good long term business plan. I support that. Apple is fighting a bitter war with its suppliers, they believe in dishing out punishment so as to create fear and they would reign that chao. Two very distinctive differents in their upper management thinking. The real question is how long can they continue this path before eveyone around them throw up their hands.

3. phitch

Posts: 214; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

List is missing 3000% mistook Android for iPhone!

29. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Exactly. Cuz I get a phone with a physical keyboard, bigger screen, maybe 3D, maybe dual screens....and the green robot logo, maybe with Google's name on the phone... For the iPhone. :/ Last time I checked.....Android was alot more than the Galaxy S line.

32. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I can say what made me choose the Droid 1 over the iPhone. I was gonna go to AT&T in 2009: FREE turn by turn GPS. physical keyboard. TONS of free apps. At the time I didnt know iOS had lots of free ones too. I was gonna switch carriers cuz I thought Verizon service had gotten bad. Turns out it was my current phone. As one last shot, I got the Droid 1. Been happy in Android land ever since. I wont say what manufacture I had phone issues with

35. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

Although your comment shows how butthurt you are that there so many who prefer android over ios; the possibility of some ifans mistaking an android phone for an iPhone is actually very possible as they don't tend to be a bright bunch.

41. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Yeah, pretty much. Or they're just older people. My mom doesn't know the difference between a Mac and a "Window," even less anything about smartphones.

76. Fuego84

Posts: 357; Member since: May 13, 2012

The iPhone always gets advertised an easy to learn and use device, I'd say the iphone is for simple people that wouldn't know apples from oranges sometimes. No joking on 2 separate occasions I met people with iPhones that didn't know who the maker of their phone was and they thought it was their carrier's phone also they didn't know if they had the iPhone 4s or not.


Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

Love Android for openness, and specs. Like ios for Quality apps, and feel and touch of the iP4. Don't prefer and dislike Windows.

13. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

"Love Android for openness, and specs." Agree, I also. "Like ios for Quality apps..." Maybe three year ago I would agree with you but not today, today Android also have good quality apps. Also satatistics says taht iOS apps tend to crash three times more than Android apps. "Don't prefer and dislike Windows." I don't have anything against WP. I just think that WP still need a few year to grow and it should become a really good OS.

16. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Also a few years ago we usually could see new apps coming first for iOS but today we can see more and more cases when apps first comes to Android and only then to iOS.


Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

+1 from me.

23. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Thanks! I Also have added +1 for your comment #5. :)


Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

Cool. Really like the avatar!

37. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

More and more people saying that, thanks. :)

42. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

iOS actually doesn't have many apps that are that much better than Android's apps. Also, I really like Windows Phone. Using Launcher 7 right now. Me gusta. Other than that, I agree with you.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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