updated 11:00 am EDT, Thu September 22, 2011
Apple, Samsung, HTC pulling in new buyers
Apple has the best customer retention rate of any smartphone manufacturer by far, a new UBS survey suggests. The company has 89 percent retention according to UBS data, the next closest competition coming from HTC, which has still only managed 39 percent. The biggest decline in the past 18 months is attributed to BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, which slipped from 62 to 33 percent.
The Android platform is noted to have "stickiness" of about 60 percent, much higher than any of its constituent manufacturers. Nevertheless, about 31 percent of current Android phone owners say they are likely to buy an iPhone as their next device. UBS remarks that in general, most people switching between cellphone makers are choosing Apple, although Samsung and HTC have also seen net gains. The biggest drains have stemmed from RIM and Nokia.
UBS lastly observes that app spending has "limited" importance when people choose a phone, as only 30 percent of the survey group said it would have an impact. Analysts have traditionally argued that much of Apple's retention and/or attraction is linked to the size of the App Store, and an unwillingness to abandon existing app purchases, but 69 percent of the survey reported spending less than $25 on apps.