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Study: 21 percent of iOS owners won't switch at any price

updated 11:30 pm EDT, Fri June 29, 2012

Collective total value of loyal base: $295B

The loyalty of Mac users to the Apple brand is legend throughout both the industry and computer users generally, but only a handful of studies have ever really tested user loyalty to Apple on its iOS devices -- though every study done indicates that buyers are "very satisfied" with them. A survey done by Goldman Sachs suggests that around 21 percent of iOS owners would not switch to another platform "at any price."

The survey also showed that a majority (88 percent) of respondents that had one iOS were either "highly likely" or "likely" to make their next mobile device an Apple product as well, and that figure increased if they had more than one device (to 96 percent). Among those with one iOS device, 14 percent said they were "unsure" or "unlikely" to move to another platform on their next purchase, but that figured dropped to four percent among those who own more than one iOS product.

Analyst Bill Shope noted the results in an email to investors Friday, and added that he believes every iOS customer to be "worth" around $1,053 to Apple (an estimated 45 percent "margin" assuming a low defection rate and an average $535 selling price), making the 21 percent's collective value $295 billion, or roughly half of Apple's current valuation. The survey questioned 1,000 buyers, and was begun to gain a better understanding of the costs involved in switching mobile platforms. Such costs only grow when users have more than one device on the same platform, which may explain the high skew of multiple-iOS device owners (and thus a similar bias would be seen for multiple-Android device owners). Goldman Sachs estimates that costs to switch range from $122 to $301 on average, or about half the cost of a contract-free device for most iOS products.

Among those who would switch if the price was right, more than half needed that inducement of 50 percent or more off the competing item's retail price before they would switch. Overall, however, only one percent of those polled said they were "unlikely" to stick with Apple.

The survey also revealed that the free iCloud service on iOS was very popular, with over 120 million users (a figure published by Apple), but also that about 30 percent of the iOS users said they were paying the $25 annual fee for iTunes Match, which provides a cloud backup, and Wi-Fi streaming or download of stored music. [via AppleInsider]




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +18

    Abandoning

    valuable property such as an iTunes and game library is a stupid proposition. For those who have not read the terms and conditions (yes, you idiotic Android manufacturers, READ IT!), each iTunes account can populate 10 iDevices.

    Enough said.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Jose

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2012

    -27

    what?

    this makes no sense. Why would you be happy to announce ONLY 21 percent of ios owners wouldn't switch???
    that would be like a college saying "Alight 21% of all of our graduates actually do something with thier degrees!"

    Comment buried. Show
  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -19

    I wouldn't switch

    I am heavily invested in the iOS environment: iPhones, iPods, iPad, Apple TV, iTunes music (90% is from iTunes Japan and most has DRM - DRM wasn't removed until this year in Japan).

    It is not all roses, though. I really dislike Apple's "sue everybody" mentality. I still cannot get a grip on WHAT is actually being infringed on by Samsung. Is it specific software or hardware? If so, all Samsung should be able to easily fix that issue. Is it the appearance of Samsung devices? If that is the case I really have to call foul. All my TVs look the same...square/black rectangles. Why do iPads and iPhones have the monopoly on that design?

    I really worried that Apple is becoming a modern version of MS. It is obvious customers no longer matter as they once did. Student discounts have decreased on computers and there is no longer a discount on iPods. That really saddens me consider the profits Apple makes.

    I am sure this will get voted down because it isn't all rosy comments about Apple, but it is the truth.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -16

    As expected

    As expected my honest comments are voted down...and yet no one could explain what exactly the law suits are about. It is obvious that a reasonable discussion simply cannot be had here.

    Switching isn't that simple. I really like Windows Phone, but their apps are really just too limited to switch (already tried using a Samsung Focus - nice phone but limited apps). I've tried Android as well, but it doesn't feel as polished as iOS. Now if only the folks at Apple would give us REAL widgets for the notification screen. How about a single button to turn the wifi/3g/airplane mode off and on!!!! Right now the notification screen is severely underutilized. It seems to be nothing more than a me too move to catch up with Android. Come on Apple...innovate!!!

  1. Swift

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +11

    I've done it before

    I had a financially punishing '90s. I bought an SE/30 in 1989, then I just had to make that miserable machine last. Still, if I had been offered a Windows machine for free, I'm not sure I would have taken it. I learned the bare minimum to use it in the office. But I would go to the Apple forums, and the Windows forums, to defend the Mac. I still loved the old ideas that had transformed my thinking about computing. My personal Mac was very long in the tooth. Then Jobs came back, and it turned out, he had been just the kind of genius I had thought he was. iMac. My first Mac since the SE/30. $2000 cheaper (my SE/30 was bought in Canada). This was what, $1200! A delight. Then the dazzling 2000s for Mac users. One innovation after another. Yes, I know, I could move, but I don't want to. I'm quite happy here. It's not a matter of price. The new Apple is very good at a. doing it right, and b. not having it blow out your budget. Plus, they have constructed this ecosystem very carefully. It's like a library. They don't lock the doors to keep you in, but why leave?

  1. Swift

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    I've done it before

    I had a financially punishing '90s. I bought an SE/30 in 1989, then I just had to make that miserable machine last. Still, if I had been offered a Windows machine for free, I'm not sure I would have taken it. I learned the bare minimum to use it in the office. But I would go to the Apple forums, and the Windows forums, to defend the Mac. I still loved the old ideas that had transformed my thinking about computing. My personal Mac was very long in the tooth. Then Jobs came back, and it turned out, he had been just the kind of genius I had thought he was. iMac. My first Mac since the SE/30. $2000 cheaper (my SE/30 was bought in Canada). This was what, $1200! A delight. Then the dazzling 2000s for Mac users. One innovation after another. Yes, I know, I could move, but I don't want to. I'm quite happy here. It's not a matter of price. The new Apple is very good at a. doing it right, and b. not having it blow out your budget. Plus, they have constructed this ecosystem very carefully. It's like a library. They don't lock the doors to keep you in, but why leave?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -11

    Statistics.

    In other news, 79% of iOS customers would switch for the right price.

  1. glideslope

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -7

    Retro

    It's like those old Lucky Strike Cigaret Ads. "I'd rather fight than switch".

  1. Sabon

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    No it doesn't mean that.

    "Such costs only grow when users have more than one device on the same platform, which may explain the high skew of multiple-iOS device owners (and thus a similar bias would be seen for multiple-Android device owners)."

    It doesn't suggest that at all. What it suggests is that Siri is a beta product and most or Android is a beta product.

    An even bigger reason why I wouldn't switch to Android or Windows phones ... ever try to upgrade any of them to the newer/newest version of their OS? Oh, you can't because the cell providers won't let you or the hardware isn't able to support the newer/newest version. Wow, how appealing is that? It must be nice being stuck with the same version of the phone OS that it came with. (sic)

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