“iSheep. That’s the retort most readily used to attack owners of Apple kit. It is a wonderfully concise allegation: the thoughtless herd mentality Apple cynics attribute to those happy to spend small fortunes on Macs, MacBooks, iPhones and iPads,” Gordon Kelly writes for Forbes. “As part of ongoing research into mobile phone purchasing decisions simonlycontracts.co.uk polled 2,275 iPhone owners and found a staggering 59% admitted ‘blind loyalty’ to the handset. The definition was this was users who stated they would not even consider researching other handsets when upgrading in future. Asked why 78% they ‘couldn’t imagine having a different type of phone now’ while 52% said they were just ‘really impressed’ with their iPhone.”

“According to figures this month from Asymco, Apple has taken 62% of the smartphone industry’s $216BN net operating profits over the last six years. As a measure of this dominance Samsung was second with 26%. In keeping iOS as a closed platform Apple also maintains a stranglehold on its App Store, minimises malware and ensures owners get the latest software upgrades immediately. In such a scenario why would you look elsewhere? And yet dig deeper and there are clouds on the horizon,” Kelly writes. “Dig into simonlycontracts’ seemingly impervious ‘blind loyalty’ research and cracks also start to appear. Asked ‘What mobile phone did you own before your current iPhone?’ the majority, 54%, unsurprisingly had another iPhone but a further 31% came from fading brands BlackBerry (17%) and Nokia (14%). That’s just 15% moving from more competitive brands.”

“Crucially first time smartphone buyers are also picking Android – understandably due to price. Previously a poor user experience from these cheap handsets would usher them to Apple sooner or later. Now with Android better suited to low spec hardware and commodisation of smartphones seeing powerful handsets available at bargain prices starting with Android could well shift from a cautionary tale to powerful gateway drug,” Kelly writes. “At that point blind loyalty would be almost impossible. Even for self-confessed iSheep.”

Full article – Think Before You Click™here.

MacDailyNews Take: We covered that SIMOnlyContracts.co.uk poll. The “blind loyalty” did not come from the polling question, it came only from a quote that SIMOnlyContracts.co.uk founder Roshan Bholah gave to The Telegraph: “It’s really interesting to discover this blind loyalty amongst iPhone users – they’ll no longer consider other mobile phones on the market, purely because they trust Apple and perhaps like being associated with the brand.” In fact, 78% of the 2,000 polled said only that they “couldn’t imagine having a different type of phone now.”

Hence, no iPhone users (0%) “admitted to blind loyalty.”

Apple product users’ loyalty is anything but “blind,” thanks. We are loyal to Apple products because of the myriad superior experiences they offer over inferior knockoffs.

Fact: Apple’ iPhone is even #1 in customer satisfaction in South Korea. Gordo, do you really think the citizens of a country that’s derisively called “The Republic of Samsung” haven’t already tried and rejected Samsung’s iPhone knockoffs? Come on, get real.

Customer satisfaction breeds clear-eyed loyalty. Customers are not created equal; the type of customers where Android makes gains, Apple doesn’t want. Collecting a bunch of crap customers via BOGOF offers isn’t the same as owning the premium market, as Apple already does.

Furthermore, more people are switching from Android to iPhone than vice versa (see below), regardless of the baseless FUD that Kelly attempts to propagate.

This is why iOS will overtake Android in the U.S. in short order, as predicted some time ago by none other than the highly-respected Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe.

Think of the Apple and Android ecosystems as two buckets of water. New smartphone buyers — mostly upgrading feature phone owners — fall like rain into the two big buckets about equally, with a smaller number falling into Windows Phone and BlackBerry buckets. However, the Android bucket leaks badly, losing about one in five of all the owners put into it. The Apple bucket leaks only about 7 percent of its contents, so it retains more of the customers that fall into it. The Apple bucket will fill up faster and higher than the Android one, regardless of the fact that the Apple bucket may have had fewer owners in it to begin with.Yankee Group VP Carl Howe

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