Survey reveals why smartphone users switch platforms

Survey reveals why smartphone users switch platforms
In the musical West Side Story, the street gang called the Jets sing, "When your a Jet you're a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last dying day." And while that type of loyalty still is par for the course among a majority of U.S. smartphone users, a recent survey of 2,500 consumers in the states by PCMag reveals that pricing and user experience are major reasons why those smartphone users who move from one platform to another do so.

18% of survey respondents switched from Android to iOS and 11% left iOS for Android. That means that 71% have stayed loyal to one OS, which could mean that smartphone users are creatures of habit, or worried about having to learn the intricacies of a new platform.

47% of those who flipped from Android to iOS said that the grass was greener on the other side; in other words, they left for a better user experience. 30% of those who left iOS for Android said that Google's open source operating system gave them a better user experience. On the other hand, when it came to pricing, 29% switched to Android from iOS while only 11% went the other way. Really, no surprise there.

When it comes to features, it was roughly a draw. 24% of those who moved from iOS to Android, and 25% of those who went the other way, switched because of the camera, and/or the design of the handset they ended up with. Oddly, 1% of those who switched to Android left iOS for faster software updates! 6% of those who left iOS for Apple did so to have more apps to chose from, while 4% of those went from Android to iOS said that they did so for the same reason.

In case you were curious, 54% of survey participants own an iPhone and half as many (27%) are sporting a Samsung branded Android handset.

You can check out the results of the survey by viewing the image at the top of this article.

source: PCMag



1. Phullofphil

Posts: 1789; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

I switched because at the time the best phone all around was the iPhone 5s and I was annoyed with how android kept getting bogged down and wasted battery along with slow updates.

25. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Why they highlight the 29%, when there is 30%, lol..

53. bucky

Posts: 3785; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

might be a strange way to do it but I think they highlighted to the largest differences.

2. cmdacos

Posts: 4208; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

I switched because apple was far less capable, needlessly restrictive if you're an adult and was more money for less. Nothing's changed at this point and for the foreseeable future isn't going to.

3. meanestgenius

Posts: 22074; Member since: May 28, 2014

I use both iOS and Android, but I switched to iOS as my primary OS of choice because of the better user experience that I have had as far as fluidity and smoothness goes. I’ve PERSONALLY experienced less apps crashing on iOS than Android, but apps do crash on iOS, make no mistake about that. I also feel that apps are better optimized on iOS than on Android. But Android has more/better features than iOS, hardware and software wise.

5. libra89

Posts: 2281; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Yeah I can get this. I agree with you on the apps crashing.

8. IronTech

Posts: 153; Member since: May 27, 2016

I have two devices running Android and iOS as well, but the reason I use the one with iOS as my daily driver is because it costs me $800. Meanwhile, my Android phone is $200.

14. audibot

Posts: 634; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

i really cant understand or see the better user experience, what i see is they hide everything so you cant see or get to anything and change things less to change is what i mean. and the fluidity all you need to do is slow the animation and transition screen time to match that of apple personally i have it off i want it open now and dont care about watching it slide to the side or slowly disappear, meanestgenius when did you switch primary to ios and what phone and os did u switch from if you dont mind me asking

20. rouyal

Posts: 1582; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

In my experience, the better user experience is that I don't have to pick through the app store to find what I like, because ios (and apps) just seem to have less quirks. Just an example, I have to run dns66 to block ads on Chrome, but that leaves 2 perma icons in the status bar. Chrome doesn't open PDFs or some image links on forums, in browser it has to download them on device. Also, when I close all tabs in Chrome, a new tab should automatically open, not sit there on a black background waiting for me. I could use Brave to block ads, but it has no sync. I could use Edge to get sync, but the interface is clumsy (accidentally closed tabs too often while trying to choose it). Firefox is too slow on Android. Then you might need another camera app because the stock app is garbage. Same for launcher. Google maps is faster at locking into your direction if you are in a parking lot on iOS. On Android I have to pinch the map to get my bearings to see the path before driving. iOS is locked down, but I feel less of a need to tinker with it because it has more polish, and things work the way you expect. I got tired of tinkering with Android, iOS won't let me tinker, and I can spend my time doing other things.

33. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

The downside of iPhone ad-blockers, they only work in Safari not in apps/games. While dns66 (or other DNS based blockers) work on the entire phone. You can open PDF's in chrome, just long press the link and choose open in new tab. No need to download it. As for the camera app and launcher, they are all personal taste and rarely the same for each brand of smartphone. But the standard Google camera app and launcher are very good. Not sure what phone you had, my if I compare my OnePlus 6 to my iPhone 6s, the OP6 is most definitely faster getting my GPS location. Also the part of working the way you expect.. yes how YOU expect it. But there are millions of others who don't think like you

66. rouyal

Posts: 1582; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

I don’t use many apps with ads, so it’s not a major concern for me. I spend a lot more time browsing, so the content blocker on iOS is fine. Aside, I’ve never had luck getting DNS66 to block ads in anything other than Chrome. Just tested opening a PDF in new tab, and it still downloads and doesn’t open in Chrome. I’ve had many android phones, including several Oneplus (3, 3T, 5, 5T) and it’s not the GPS hardware itself, it’s Google Maps on android waits until you start moving to begin giving you a sense of orientation.

70. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Have you tried recalibrating the compass in Google Maps on Android? I have no issue whatsoever using GMaps on Android, even without moving. It points directly to the right way.

82. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I have 5 add blocker apps and they block most of the adds there are. I noticed that Google has managed to get YouTube adds past them but I'm sure this is going to be taken care of soon.

47. Marcwand3l

Posts: 439; Member since: May 08, 2017

It's funny how you tried to triangulate a certain user experience to make it seem like "ios is more polished". I personally own a Windows PC and I have absolutely no reason to change it. So lets say I buy an iphone how does Safari's sync function help me? It doesn't. The user experience might be a little better with apple if you invest in a phone, a computer and a tablet but how many people are doing that? And like you said there are alternatives on Android anyway and they are more than fine for most people. For example I do use Brave browser and it works great(it's smooth, and battery friendly), I don't need the sync feature, I never use it, I have no need for it. And last, people waste time on their phones all the time anyway but i don't see how being able to personalize and improve my user experience on my phone is a downside.

67. rouyal

Posts: 1582; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

In my comment, you will see “Just an example”. Because I’m not going to run down a list of the other things that make iOS feel more polished. I guess not so much as ‘sync’ as in between devices, but more of a backup function, in case you need to reset your phone. If I invest time using Brave, logging into websites, creating a browsing history, making bookmarks, etc. all that is lost if you get a new phone or need to reset. If Brave works for you, that’s good. I never said it didn’t, but it won’t work for me. It seems part and parcel with android apps though. There’s a lot of choice, but none are 100%. I have just an iPhone and iPad. Windows PC. By your logic, you should not be using android, but using a Windows phone and a Surface tablet to get a good experience from your Windows PC. See how flawed that reasoning is? The iPhone is good on its own.

4. cocoy

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

The survey is from US which we all know that majority of users are using iPhone. Aside from that there was no info as to when did they switched? This is because previous Samsung phones are known to lag terribly after several updates not to mention that mostly of their phones are made of plastic with the exception of S6 and onwards.

16. audibot

Posts: 634; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

not only that ut no say of how they got the info could be a bunch of crap, i mean really massive companies pay millions for this kind of thing to damage the other and push people to them

56. Acdc1a

Posts: 473; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

40% is nowhere near a majority...

6. libra89

Posts: 2281; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

The top reason for each makes so much sense. I like the seemed simplicity of iOS but the range of prices and models running Android side is great.

28. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Congrats, you got fooled.. The actual top reason for both is same.. Look closely on data table, on reason to switch from iOS to android 30% because User Experience, and 29% because price

29. Vokilam

Posts: 1201; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Yeah, but it also says that more people switched to iOS for FEATURES, than people switched to Android. Always thought that android had more features.

34. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

It also said between the brackets (camera, design). So I am pretty sure it's not specifically the features of the OS, but more the phone itself.

59. libra89

Posts: 2281; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Thank you.

7. Jason2k13

Posts: 1462; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

I used both ios and android... ios was faster and smoother, but I stayed with android because of customization and better features.

58. Acdc1a

Posts: 473; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

Stock Android is just as fast and smooth as iOS. Individual manufacturer skins (I'm looking at you Samsung and LG) slow down the process. I was playing with the Note 9 yesterday at the Samsung store and was sad to still see a stutter. Shouldn't be happening.

83. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

That means an Android buyer has only one choice of phone (which is a worse product than a particular skinned one) and cannot use launchers, therefore - for this particular buyer - it might be less compelling to get an Android phone.

12. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I switched because I always wanted to try iOS and games are optimized better, I'm going back to android soon though, I'm a comp sci guy and you can simply do more on android than iOS and that's what I like about it, my time on iOS wasn't bad and I plan to get an iPad before I switch back to an android phone. I have a decent amount of paid apps and other stuff I spent money on so I can't leave iOS lol damn you Apple!

17. audibot

Posts: 634; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

and thats the reason they have better apps less crash you have to pay for almost everything things that are free on android you pay for on apple

41. Vokilam

Posts: 1201; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Arch, in my experience switching between platforms - you can continue any games you had on other platform without a hiccup, you can also restore you IAP or paid features to new phone regardless of same or different platform. Early on when I switched from iPhone 5s to Samsung Note - I did contact certain app developer (can’t remember, but it was a few children apps I think, with Dr. Panda or something) to allow me to have paid content unlocked on my android device - since I switched and I bought a lot from that developer. Couple of verification emails back and forth and it was successfully unlocked. Locked into iOS ecosystem is a myth.

84. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Seeing your message, I'm starting to think that Apple's idea for suggesting to developers a subscription based model for their apps is good for all parties: developers because they get more paying users; users because they pay smaller prices when they need to use an app (you might need it 1-2 times a year, you might get a better one etc) and, as you have said, you can easily keep you apps when switching platforms; (and apple because it makes more money). Edit: there are also going to be some people who lose: those that are heavily and constantly using the apps, without generating any more revenue for the developer (other than the initial payment).

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