iPhone Users Have A ‘Blind Loyalty’ To The Apple Brand [Report]

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A new survey of 2,000 iPhone users saw 3/5ths of respondents admit to having a “blind loyalty” to the Apple brand.

78% percent claimed they “couldn’t imagine having a different type of phone now,”  while 52% said they had been “really impressed” with the iPhone.

54% of people answering the survey had previously owned an iPhone and — when asked why they bought a second — 37% responded that they were used to the iOS interface.

A further 28% said the iPhone seemed to be the best phone for them at the time of switching, while 25% said it was due to the fact that friends and family members had iPhones and they wished to retain Apple-specific features such as Facetime.

The survey revealed that 17% of respondents had switched to their current iPhone from a BlackBerry, 14% from a Nokia handset, 9% from a Samsung, 4% from an HTC, and just 2% from a Sony Ericsson.

1 in 10 people were using either an iPhone 5c or 5s.

Roshan Bholah, founder of SIMOnlyContracts.co.uk, who conducted the survey, notes that,”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.”

While surveys — particularly those conducted using a relatively small sample of respondents — can often be taken with a pinch of salt, if Bholah’s results do indicate larger trends it is further evidence of the favorable (and relatively unique) position Apple occupies as a tech company.

  • BBKlaiber

    Luke, I’m a bit disappointed in this reporting. I’d expect this from ‘those guys’, not a fellow Apple author. Let’s take an honest look at those numbers for a minute:

    Only 54% of people answering the survey had previously owned an iPhone, so only they could even have this claimed ‘blind’ loyalty. 46% of the sample came from another mobile platform, so they weren’t lemmings. Yet still, “78% percent claimed they “couldn’t imagine having a different type of phone now”. In other words, Apple’s mobile products overwhelmingly impressed both previous and new customers to such a degree they weren’t interested in other platforms anymore.

    Of that 54%, “when asked why they bought a second [iPhone] — 37% responded that they were used to the iOS interface.” Now that’s a bit interesting. Some people seem to state that they were used to a particular interface and interaction, which is distinctly Apple. However, it’s not as though the competition offers the identical interface and they refuse to buy it.

    Polling is a funny thing, tough. For example, when forced to multiple choice, how would you answer the question “My mother used to: A.) Dress me funny, B.) Warn me to stop making that face or it’ll get stuck, or C.) Use me in her ventrilliquist act”? Be honest now, lol.

    What I’m getting at is that the permissible answers were so shallow that it really forced people to default to being ‘used to interface’.

    Of that sample, 52% said they had been “really impressed” with the iPhone and another 28% said the iPhone seemed to be the best phone for them at the time of switching. Hmmm.. so being really impressed and deciding a phone is the best for you somehow means you’re a lemming?

    Somebody has blinds on, alright, and it’s not the customers. This polling was commissioned by an Apple competitor looking desperately for some weakness to hit at and not finding one. Hence, the guy’s consternation at finding consumers who become deeply loyal after using the product.

    It’s not new (or news) that people convert to Apple products AFTER using Windows/Android/blackberry and don’t look back. What would be news is the lengthy list of reasons consumers provide why they won’t accept returning to the problems they left behind. The overwhelming majority of Windows users have NEVER used a competing platform, and keep buying purely out of habit, yet there is nary a single result for that consumers research from Google. I wonder why that is never a topic of discussion, don’t you?

    I hit home on this topic in Anatomy of an Apple – The Lessons Steve Taught Us. These companies are full of such disdain for what Apple offers that they cannot grasp why the product is so successful.

    For example, the MS response to the iPad? ‘Who wouldn’t want a mobile device with the ports, interface complexity, maintenance requirements and power drawbacks of their laptop, only in a thinner form factor?’ Inefficient processor, terrible battery life, hacked desktop interface with some touch tweaks gets slapped together overnight, and ‘BOOM! MS BEATS APPLE IN INNOVATION!” headlines abounded.

    A few years later, they’ll probably return the desktop stand to it, and ‘BOOM, take that, Apple!’ I’d hardly be surprised if the surface 2015 has a ‘innovative hard form’ that supports your choice of monitors, three hard drives, has a sixteen core desktop processor, and requires 1000W power supply. Their next announcement will be the ‘Surface CE’ – Case and Expansion capability, you heard it here first.

  • acslater017

    There’s an enormous leap between the poll questions asked and the adjectives attached afterward…

  • EpicTea

    BBklaiber, you sound like a typical apple fanboy that can’t face the fact that many average consumers don’t have a clue about tech and usually just choose “whats popular” or what their familiar with, most people don’t treat their smartphones like picking a car, they just want something that texts, makes phone calls, emails,web and some social networking, any midrange to flagship smartphone can achieve this now days with ease.

  • gettysburg11s

    Wow, that comment below was definitely TLDR. I think this is totally true to some extent. On the other hand, people, even Apple owners, are not sheep. They know what they like and what features they need.

    I do think that Apple inspires brand loyalty a lot more than other smart phone brands. Its not any one thing that causes this to happen. With Apple, its lots of little things together, which is what Apple is all about. The small details (not the specs).

  • JAS99

    I’m really tired of being told I use Apple products because of the fashion statement they make or because I’m a blind fanboy or I’m just a lemming.
    I am none of those things.

    I want the tools that make me the most productive. Period.
    Apple makes the best tools in the world. Period.

    To all the Apple haters out there, stop assuming I’m a lemming. If you want to use a cheap hammer with a wobbly handle, or a cheap saw that has dull teeth, go ahead. I’m going to use finely crafted precision tools to accomplish great things quickly and effortlessly.

  • James Katt

    Apple has gained so much trust from its customers that they simply don’t think about the competition. Everything else is simply inferior.

    This is simply what successful luxury brands do. Tiffany does it. Mercedes Benz does it. Lexus does it.

    Apple has done the luxury experience better than any other company.

  • Eric

    Not all iPhone users are trend driven fan boys. But in a society were status is almost paramount for many people, it’s easy to see the “blind loyalty” of a lot of iPhone users. However, like JAS99, I have an iPhone because it suits MY needs. I’ve been a Mac guy (not necessarily an Apple guy) for 20+ years. I heard great things about the iPhone 3GS, the latest model at the time when I was looking to get my first smartphone. So it was a natural decision for me, at least to try it out before other brands.

    The familiarity of the Mac on the iPhone was what grabbed me. But it was the camera that actually got me hooked. With every new iPhone model that came out, using friends’ phones, I tested the camera against the latest Samsung models, Nokia, and even Windows smartphones. Hands down, the iPhone camera always came up on top for me. Later models came close, but still didn’t beat the iPhone camera.

    If another smartphone matched or bettered the iPhone’s camera, I would definitely consider it. And if it matched or bettered the feel and functionality of the iOS as well, I would have no problem switching over. But for now, the iPhone is what suits me best.

  • Timothy Williamson

    I would have no problem learning or using a different phone or UI, and I really enjoy playing around with Windows Phones and Android phones given the chance. But the main reason I wouldn’t switch at this point is there are apps I rely on that are only available for iOS, I have too much invested in iOS apps, and I enjoy the using the mostly seamless iPhone/iPad/Mac ecosystem.

  • Jaredporter

    Personally I am very loyal to the Apple brand because of the quality of their hardware and customer service, both at their stores and on the occasion when I have needed telephone support. In America at least, I feel a lot of other brand handsets are being sold in malls (kiosks, carriers’ shops, and retailers like Best Buy) where the salesperson makes a commission or “spiff” by steering new customers to competing hardware. These commissions are never revealed to the unsuspecting shopper and in my opinion are a little bit underhanded and unethical. Since these salespeople are working for rather low hourly wages, I am sure these commissions can be quite important to their paychecks?

  • BBKlaiber

    BBklaiber, you sound like a typical apple fanboy that can’t face the fact that many average consumers don’t have a clue about tech and usually just choose “whats popular” or what their familiar with, most people don’t treat their smartphones like picking a car, they just want something that texts, makes phone calls, emails,web and some social networking, any midrange to flagship smartphone can achieve this now days with ease.

    So, in other words, you’re admitting you have zero facts and want to play ‘fanboy’ games. No wonder you choose the tea party reference for a name. They also make up stuff and use personal insults.

    I pointed to the actual numbers blatantly disproving the article headline.

    Show us how you can be a lemming when 46% of the polled never even owned an iPhone before.
    Show us how lemming would then explain the overwhelming majority of those new to iPhone customers then deciding they aren’t interested in leaving the platform. We’ll wait while you make up something…

    “At the launch of iPhone 5 one year ago, about 16 percent of iPhone 5 buyers said they were upgrading from an Android phone, CIRP depicts in its chart (above). This year [2013], at least 20 percent of new iPhone 5s and 5c buyers said they were moving from Android.” – Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

    Nearly one in four new iPhone buyers leaving Android and were new to iPhone. Now, if that were Android, you’d be spinning it as an exodus from iPhone, no doubt.

    From the same study, we learn that 33% of Apple’s new customers had previously used an Android, yet just 11% of new Android customers had used iOS. The facts show that the Android base is full of people who’ve never used anything else, and are blindly loyal.

    They’ve been trotting out this bs line that all Apple users just refuse to see how great the competition is for 30 years straight. It’s never been factually accurate.

    “J.D. Power’s surveys of iPhone owners have shown for nine consecutive years that they are quite happy with the product. Apple scored 855 out of a possible 1,000 points. Nokia (795), Samsung (793), Motorola (792) and HTC (790) all trailed for eight straight years. Apple’s J.D. Power customer satisfaction score has been so high that it actually pulled up the average of the entire smartphone industry.” – Anatomy of an Apple – The Lessons Steve Taught Us.

    “The iPad scored 836 out of 1000 possible points. It performed well in every category. J.D. Power rated the iPad five out of five stars.

    Apple’s iPad owners buy a 32GB tablet, and get a tablet with virtually the entire space available. Surface owners buy a package telling them they are buying a 32GB tablet, then get home to discover over half the space is unusable, as Microsoft occupies 16GB of it, permanently, with OS and pre-installed software. Is it somehow difficult to see the difference in customer experience?

    It’s not even just an American thing. Apple’s iPhone product line recently was rated the top in customer satisfaction in South Korea, home of Samsung.” – Excerpt From: “Anatomy of an Apple.” https://itun.es/us/_RZMS.l

    Now, I’ve ponied up more facts, it’s your turn. Or were you still stuck on the first paragraph?

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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