Apple’s iPhone is more than just sizzle, according to a German survey measuring smartphone loyalty released Monday. Although 75 percent of smartphone owners surveyed said they may switch to another handset when they buy their next phone, 59 percent of iPhone owners said they are sticking with the Apple handset. The figure tops the BlackBerry and Android-based alternatives, leaving Nokia and Microsoft in the dust.
“If a phone doesn’t do what it says it will do or what the owner hopes it will do, the maker will lose loyalty,” GfK analyst Ryan Garner told Reuters. Garner explained that people tend to “buy into experiences at the high-end level.”
The 59 percent loyalty is down from the past summer, when ChangeWave Research found 73 percent of iPhone users planned to remain iPhone users. However, this was before the iPhone 4 ‘death grip’ flap over antenna problems with Apple’s latest handset.
Just slightly over a third (35 percent) of BlackBerry owners said they would remain RIM users, according to GfK. Slightly over one-in-four (28 percent) of Android-based handset owners expressed interest in buying the same handset. Owners of smartphones powered by Microsoft software were the least satisfied at 21 percent saying they will stay with their current handsets, according to the survey. Smartphones using Nokia’s Symbian platform did only slightly better at 24 percent.
German surveyors also found 37 percent of traditional cell phone owners planned to purchase a smartphone for their next mobile phone. The survey, conducted in October and November, asked 2,632 mobile phone owners in the U.S., Britain, Germany, Spain and China.