Big problem for Apple: False claim that majority of iPhone users ‘admit to blind loyalty’

“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 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 poll. The “blind loyalty” did not come from the polling question, it came only from a quote that 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

Related articles:
78% of UK iPhone owners ‘couldn’t imagine having a different type of phone now’ – February 13, 2014
iPhone dominates Android in smartphone loyalty – August 23, 2013
Apple’s iTunes Store tops Netflix, Amazon, HBO GO, Hulu Plus in customer satisfaction – August 6, 2013
Apple iPhone No. 1 in customer satisfaction in South Korea – July 2, 2013
Yankee Group: iPhone ownership in the U.S. will top Android by 2015 – April 26, 2013
Yankee Group: Apple continues to eat Samsung’s lunch; customer loyalty will drive iPhone ownership past Android’s peak – April 26, 2013
Apple’s iPhone user gains again out-pace Android in the U.S. – April 5, 2013
Survey: iPhone dominates in customer satisfaction – April 19, 2013
Raymond James: Survey shows higher iPhone customer loyalty, greater upgrade frequency vs. Android – April 8, 2013
Apple increases lead over Samsung, gains on Google’s Android in U.S. smartphone market share – April 4, 2013
Analyst: Apple iPhone 5 got over 5X times as many tweets as Samsung’s lackluster Galaxy S4 – March 27, 2013
J.D. Power: Apple ranks highest in smartphone customer satisfaction for 9th consecutive time – March 21, 2013
Yankee Group: Apple to gain additional U.S. smartphone share over Samsung in 2013 – March 20, 2013
With 78% share, Apple’s iOS tightening its grip on the enterprise and taking share from Android – March 8, 2013
Apple rules the skies with 84% in-flight share vs. Android’s 16% – March 7, 2013
comScore: Google’s Android, Samsung continue to lose U.S. share to Apple’s iOS, iPhone – March 6, 2013
Apple dominates smartphone OS satisfaction survey – January 18, 2013


  1. Funny how you rarely read about blind loyalty to Microsoft even though so much of it was unthinking. Loyalty to Apple is usually anything but. As the initial outlay is usually higher one has to think seriously about it and compare overall cost otherwise you would get as one did with the PC brigade just hear the same old mantra its not worth spending the extra outlay despite over the life of the computer it was almost inevitably less. certainly so by some way by my own experience as compared to my friends and colleagues.

  2. As expected from Roshan Blowholeah. Doing business in India is a real experience. They have no concept of quality. Want contracts with draconian terms and conditions and will always pick low price no matter qualitative product differences. What he doesn’t say is he is a price first, spec buyer. Specs are his basis to judge quality. Total FOOL.

  3. Apple has enamoured millions with their ingenious reworking of tech into things people want, that are a joy to use.

    As a result they own the cachet — the lustre, the aura, the brand; the identification with quality; the steadfast focus on creating delight…the very qualities dismissed by grinches as foolish fancy, even as they try to clone them for themselves.

    But these psychological hooks are what maintain brand loyalty. People don’t switch once they’re happy.

    That doesn’t sound like a herd of sheep to me — more like utilitarian economics — a spontaneous gathering of discerning consumers attracted by intrinsic worth, and sticking around because there’s no better place to be.

    1. well said. It’s the 80 20 rule again. 80% of the folks just don’t think deeply about their technology. I’m not sure those folks can be surprised and delighted because they haven’t formed a basis of what to expect. All they want is to use it for calls and texting, any other functionality isn’t all that important, and thats the basis for their purchase. Price becomes all important because calls and texts are all they really want and need.

  4. The only person blind here is the writer of this story. Apple customers are loyal because they get what most others don’t. They get high quality supported products by a company that stands behind them and keeps them updated to work as best as possible. They support what they make with easy access to service in more than 400 retail stores that you can get service in person, online, or by phone. They get training and support in those stores to learn the best way to use them. No other company offers any of this. Microsoft copies but charges $50 just to talk to a service person at there stores. Want software support, another charge for that too. Apple does not charge anything for software support including reinstalling the operating system and other software. Loyalty is high because Apple gives there customers many things that the others don’t period. Great features, great software that is always up to date. Great hardware that is engineered to work with the software completely not a generic build that is hammered together to try an make it work like Windows, and Android. There customers aren’t blind, I think it’s the other way around. Open is supposed to be great, only if you like malware, spyware, DNS attacks and viruses. The blind people are looking at those devices to buy, not Apple customers.

  5. “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.”

    Could: used to indicate possibility.

    ANYTHING is possible, so you suppose I could get published if I said “Apple customers could continue buying Apple products by the shipload.”

  6. Call me anything, but don’t call me late to supper. I buy Apple kit because I demand the best and highest quality. Only Apple provides outstanding performance and quality. Samsung can kiss my big Polish ass. Apple yesterday, Apple today, Apple forever!

  7. The faster everyday folks are weened off the Android tech-babble platform and onto something that simply works every second of every day with little or no fiddling from the owner/user, the better…

    Tech-nerd, techno-babbling creds have a place in our culture and influence everything we do, but MOST users aren’t like that – AT ALL. Hhhuummmmmm..

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