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back to article Fanbois vs fandroids: Punters display 'tribal loyalty'

Does how you feel about your current smartphone really inform the handset you’ll acquire two, three or four years hence? The Yankee Group, a market watcher, thinks it might. And that’s good news for Apple. Possibly. Apple currently sits just behind Google in the future purchasing stakes. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, …

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Pint

Yawn...

Amazing, people who own a certain brand of car are also very inclined to stick with the brand whenever they need a new one. Of course that is something most people already knew for years ;-)

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Boffin

Lies, damn lies and statistics

Top left of chart: "US Consumer Survey".

We know that Apple enjoys strong brand loyality in the US but not outside of it, so the %s are to be expected.

People like to forecast, but then nobody in 2007 forecast the MASSIVE RECESSION we've had since - including all those over-paid Central Bankers who somehow feel they have the wisdom to tell other economies what's good for them even though those same Central Bankers ALL failed to predict the worst recession on record.

Forecasts are bullshit. People who consume them are eating bullshit.

'Yankee Group' = more like the 'JerkOffee Group'

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yawn...

"Amazing, people who own a certain brand of car are also very inclined to stick with the brand whenever they need a new one. Of course that is something most people already knew for years ;-)"

I had a Renault, then a Hyundai then a BMW and now a different Renault model.

Anyway, who wants an iPhone with a feature set from last decade when you can get 2013 feature sets from other handset types? Not very clever if you ask me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yawn...

@obviously. The situations aren't comparable. When you buy a phone you're (generally) buying into an ecosystem of apps. Invest enough in those and, all other things being roughly equal, it makes rational sense to stick with the same handset manufacturer. This is not true for cars. There's no equivalent 'investment' in a car ecosystem.

The closest equivalent would be saying that someone with an x-box is more likely to buy a new x-box than they are to change to a PS-whatever ... Saying it like that however would be so uncontroversial that it wouldn't get the column inches. You get better press when you refer to the bloody obvious as 'tribal loyalty'

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Stop

Sounds like the author is committing the same sin

You can't predict future performance from the past. If you had projected growth numbers forwards in the early days of the railways then you would have concluded that by 1900 there would be a station at every house and trains would travel at over 900 mph. All of these analysts reports are little more than casting the runes or examining the entrails of chickens, that is wildly inaccurate in most cases for anything beyond the short term.

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Alert

Re: Sounds like the author is committing the same sin

In other words: "nice work if you can get it"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sounds like the author is committing the same sin

The survey relates to future buying intentions not the past. Of course it can't be said to be anything close to a precise science, but it doesn't tell you nothing either.

The author has it wrong though re: iPhone's past dominance. The iPhone has never been dominant. Dominant in the headlines and publication mind-share, yes. But it's customer base has always been growing and it's market share never reached that great a hight for it to fall from. This is because to date mobile the smartphones market has been a growth market. The big difference Android has made is to the iPhone's growth trajectory. However what the survey has shown was already pretty evident from other sources. Android has encountered flash growth after Android smartphones have reached certain key price-points previously only met by feature phones. But per user average for device usage is far lower than is the case for iOS users.

Samsung don't provide a breakdown of worldwide Galaxy vs their low end Android handset sales precisely because then it is clear the monetary value of Android customers to the Android ecosystem is significantly lower than the value of iPhone customers to the iPhone ecosystem and they no providing the breakdown will give out a negative message.

This survey shows after the flood of smartphone handsets into the market because they have reached key price-points, but once the effects of this flash flood are understood, it can be seen iOS is continuing to expand it's constituency out from the core high value market segments. It's a slower growth pattern than Android, but a far more lucrative one.

Many don't realise just how powerful this is as a business strategy and why it is very bad news for Android. It means over time Android handset manufacturers will get pushed into ever lower value market segments, and margins will continue to be squeezed. A little like has been the case for Apple notebooks versus PC industry notebooks over the past 10 years. Except actually Apple are where mobile is concerned, starting from a far stronger position because they were first to market and have doggedly chased just the high value market segments they want.

It's true are also encountering the effects of a maturing tech market and finding sales of older generation phones are still strong because many find them good enough, and this is to some extent canibalising iPhone 5 sales. As a result their margins are also getting squeezed. But not nearly as much as for Android manufacturers and they have far and away more legroom.

The counter argument is that dominant market-share leads to ecosystem lock-in and there is no doubt ecosystems excerpt a healthy degree of lock-in effect, so Google's strategy is strategically superior. This may yet turn out to be true, but this is not the 90's where support for crucial file formats meant all the spoils tipped to one player; Microsoft. And these survey results are in the face of the platform lock-in effect. Neither Android or iOS are going away anytime soon but iOS certainly appears to be continuing to expand its constituency from the high value end of the market. This is why Apple would be completely nuts to change strategy now and start trying to compete down on price.

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Meh

Re: Sounds like the author is committing the same sin

'You can't predict future performance from the past.'

Yes but history has many lessons that can be learnt.

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Stop

Re: Sounds like the author is committing the same sin

There are many examples of things that worked in the past that are no longer usefull, and others that didn't work and are now hugely successful. At best it can teach us that, if nothing else changes, this thing will probably work/not work (delete as applicable). The problem is that this business is about change.

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Re: Sounds like the author is committing the same sin

You can't predict future performance from the past.

I agree with this completely, but I'm not sure that's what's happening in this projection. In fact, I'm completely sure that's not whats happening in this projection because if it where, Android would not stagnate at 45%, combined with apple recent LOSS of marketshare, this is in no way, shape, or form a projection of past performance.

What I think happened was they took their "brand loyalty" stats and used the assumption that would equal sales, which is almost as bad. Twice over, I question the methodology of the survey because on apple the brand is the platform. On Android, Samsung or HTC is the brand, but Android is the platform. I wonder if people thought "yeah, I might get a different phone, I have an HTC, but a Samsung might be nice"

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Facepalm

Guesswork

How on earth can anybody predict future phone purchases up to 2017? Four years ago Android was crap, Apple was stupidly expensive and everybody owned Blackberrys & Nokias. In 4 years time I predict that we the market will be a 4 way split between iOS9, Android 8, Windows 11 and Phonety 2.3. Phonety will be the new kid on the block that can predict your desires by reading your body language and will be the new "Big Thing" that everyone has to have. Apple will be for old, sales & marketing people. Android for the middle aged, middle management & unimaginative. Windows for the gullible,.... and Phonety will be for for techies and anyone under 30. Yes, it probably won't be called Phonety, more likely to be "Dazzle" or "Bling" if the marketing types get hold of it.

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Re: Guesswork

Android for the unimaginative? That may be true for a lot of people who buy the default product, but if you look at what people do in terms of customisation, 3rd party launchers etc then Android ought to be the choice of the "creatives" (but not of the baristas and other poseurs).

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Re: Guesswork

Nokia did make a few mistakes (ditching one OS before they had the new range ready, poor build quality, etc) derailing their lead in the smartphone market.

It could take a similar mistake and any of the big ones might crumble (though Apple did survive their grip of death problem by denying it, which could have killed their phone range dead).

All it takes is some brand, with an existing large user base, to step into the phone market and it will all change.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guesswork

Ah, Craigness. One of the chief tribalists...

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Re: Guesswork

@AC

You make a few good points to counter my claim that creative people should choose Android but I should point out that I'm not tribal - I just like to counter counterfactuals.

Edit: sorry, on reading it again I see it's nothing more than an ad-hominem. If you do have a reason for creative types to choose a system on which they can't be as creative as they can on Android, do let us know.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guesswork

Craigness, so easy to wind up too! Sunshine, stop taking yourself so damned seriously. As ever you have very little to say, but insist on sharing it. You're so very tedious at times. Nobody is keeping score...

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FAIL

Analysists...

These are the same people who continue to fail to predict profit forecasts and are always the reason for headlines that read "Share Prices In Globocorp Fall After Profits Fail To Reach Expectations"

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Less to with fanboism than stickiness

There's an extremely good reason that Apple, Google and Microsoft all use DRM on their content and and increasingly cloud based services - stickiness. The more you invest in a platform, both financially and in terms of reliance on its services, the less likely or able you are to switch.

Look at all the bullshit going on with buying books, movies or TV shows. There *could* be a single industry wide DRM and content specification which lets people use their content from any compliant device, but then people could move and we can't have that now can we?

The best way to ensure your options are open is to avoid buying anything but apps (which are unavoidably proprietary), and if you must buy things, attempt to do so from platform agnostic services - music / video / book services which provide clients for all operating systems and have no stake in which succeeds.

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£20 or £400

So all those people who still do not use smart phones and currently spend <£100 on a phone will all suddenly decide that a £400 handset is for them, somewhat unlikely. Especially as we see Apple's growth slowing already and Android still rising.

Maybe these people will continue to use the dumb phones they are happy with.

When I eventually upgrade my iPhone 4, I won't be sticking with iOS I don't think unless Apple suddenly comes up with something genuinely brilliant which is something they haven't done recently.

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Re: £20 or £400

That's certainly true. It's unlikely that dumb-phone holdouts are going to go straight to a top-of-the-range smartphone. And that's the bit of the market that Apple play in. Even though they sell their older models cheaper, the 2 year old iPhone 4 is still going at £300, which is the top of the mid-priced market and nowhere near the £100 phones.

I also wonder if people might start going for dumb-phone / small tablet combinations. I'm still yet to find a smartphone that's as good as a decent dumb-phone at doing calls.

Anyway surveys have consistently showed Apple owners to be more loyal than Android owners. However Android has been growing and taking market share off Apple, even though that's been growing as well. So, just because they're less loyal doesn't mean they won't stick with Android anyway, even if they shift manufacturers.

I seem to remember that Apple have been taking share off Android in the US for the last couple of quarters though, so it may be that the analysts have it right. But I suspect big sales of the Galaxy 4, so it may be that things shift back the 'Droid way for a couple of quarters until the iPhone 6. Who knows...

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Stop

"It's unlikely that dumb-phone holdouts are going to go straight to a top-of-the-range smartphone"

Why? That's exactly what I did when I finally got a smartphone two years ago. My logic was simple: I wanted to buy a phone that could handle anything that might come along during the lifetime of the device.

The surveys showing greater brand loyalty among Apple owners are false, though - in my experience, at least. I see people saying "I think this is where I switch from my iPhone to Phone X" all the time, but I haven't once seen someone say "I'm disappointed in my Galaxy SIII, I'm going to buy an iPhone".

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Re: £20 or £400

"I also wonder if people might start going for dumb-phone / small tablet combinations."

I switched from something like that (A Razor V3 + iPod touch) to a midrange smart phone + tablet (Nexus 4 + Nexus 7).

If the Razor had been G3 and able to tether to the Nexus 7 I might have just dumped the iPood.

I might have gone for an iPad mini if they had come out with one a few years ago instead of talking about sharpening fingers... No interest in any of the current Apple products.

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LPF
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Re: £20 or £400

@Mark Wilson

Sorry mark but don't believe you have an iPhone for one second, if you did you would not be comparing the iphone against all the Android manufacturers for one, and you certaintly would not be going for a platform that still does not have all the app that apple does, are you one of Samsungs paid stooges we have been hearing about recently?? tut

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Re: £20 or £400 @lpf

Why not? I went from my iPhone to a Desire, to an Xperia S and recently switched to a Nokia 820 when i dropped it and smashed the screen. The Andriod platform had every app that I needed (and even a few that the iPhone doesn't have). Both the Android phones were nicer to use - for me.

The windows phone suffers from lack of apps, that's for sure, but other than that its a really nice phone to use.

Maybe the original poster wasn't a Samsung shill, but just someone who wants a phone that works and doesn't care about the make or OS...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: £20 or £400

"When I eventually upgrade my iPhone 4, I won't be sticking with iOS I don't think unless Apple suddenly comes up with something genuinely brilliant which is something they haven't done recently."

People are waking up to this fact. far too slowly, but that is hardly surprising.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: £20 or £400

LPF

Oh dear, Oh dear. You can't see the wood for the trees!

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This is where you get the difference in Apple/Android satisfaction

I would hazard a guess that the satisfaction of iPhone owners compared to the satisfaction of GS3 or other similarly priced Android phones is much closer than the overall iPhone/Android satisfaction they quote here. That's precisely because low end Android phones are far more likely to result in dissatisfied customers (as would low end iPhones if Apple made such a thing)

Some will be dissatisfied and still buy Android because that's the only game in town for a cheap smartphone and they don't see why anyone would spend the kind of money Apple, Samsung or Nokia are asking for their premium products. Others will go to the higher end in search of a better phone, but because of their distasteful initial experience with Android they are far more likely to switch platforms than owners of higher end Android phones who had a better experience.

The theory behind people who believe Android will eventually become like Windows and Apple will be relegated to a tiny niche as with the Mac is that people buying cheap Androids will become tied to the platform and eventually buy more expensive Androids. The issues that pushed almost the entire PC market towards Windows 15-20 years ago don't exist on smartphones. No one has an Android-only workplace, or finds that many of the websites they regularly visit work only on the Android browser. There is no domination on the application side - even today developers earn more on the iOS side than the Android side, which is why most apps still come out for iOS first.

If you ignore the "smartphone" market share numbers and look at the overall mobile market share you can see where things are going. Apple is around or a bit under 10% there worldwide, and are unlikely to grow that much - the high end smartphone market is pretty much saturated. The half of the market that is non-smartphone will all be smartphone in a few years, at which point Apple will have only 10% of the worldwide smartphone market. The Android fans will think they've won, but what will they win?

Few of those new customers buying on the low end have any value. They contribute market share, but result in little additional revenue for Google or the OEM who sells them their phone, because they buy few apps and don't use the phone as a smartphone nearly as much as high end buyers (so Google shows them far fewer ads) Many of them will never be rich enough to afford an iPhone or GS3 class phone, or even if they can/will, wouldn't think it is worth it. A small percentage of them will be both upwardly mobile and willing to spend on a high end smartphone, but the less positive initial experience they get from Android will make it harder for Android to keep them.

Android would actually be better off if FirefoxOS succeeds at undercutting Android at the low end and starts taking all those first time smartphone buyers, so they can have the bad experience there and upgrade to an Android later.

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FAIL

As always...

...there's lies, damn lies and extrapolating survey results.

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Pint

Extrapolating...

There are two kinds of people in the world; those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

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Re: Extrapolating...

There are two kinds of people in the world; those who can extrapolate from incomplete data...

...And ocelots.

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Pfft

Having been forced to actually think about what my money gets me (stupid arsed long mobile contact) I am many like me are not even sure we will be "upgrading" our "smart" phones.

For example, the old workhorse the Galaxy s2 should keep going and giving me my email for the next 20 years. So instead of giving some phone company a load of cash, I will just be getting a simple Nokia handset (probably got one in a draw somewhere) that actually lets me make calls where I can understand what the person at the other end is saying.......

Paying 5-700 quid for a small upgrade on the current phone is just not worth it

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Re: Pfft

If you want to keep a phone for 20 years you'll need

1) to replace the battery

2) to have updates and bugfixes

So that's not looking good.

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Stop

Re: Pfft

1) Most non Fruity phones have replaceable batteries. My Chinese samsung (star n9770) clone ones cost 4 quid so i never have issues on long flights

2) Android (unlike iOS/Windows) is open source so in theory could continue being developed for 20 years.failing that other OSes such as Cynagen could be loaded.

20 years though should mean the protocols are obselete but hey people still hack things together (there is a web page hosted on a c64 ffs)

Not a fan boy for any camp but for me personally a big screen, non walled garden and replaceable batteries were my phone priority's (as it is used less as a phone and more for other things). Apple won't let you fiddle with anything and windows phones were too expensive.

Now if Apple addressed my points above (which they won't) i would have no issue with switching. What this report reflects is the growing trend of "you are what you buy". So people feel the need to fight to the death over which phone/console/gfx card etc they buy when most perform similar functions.

Personally i'd rather be thought of based on what i do/ think but then maybe thats because i can't afford the newest shineys

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Unhappy

statistical shit.

Problem is, people believe it.

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Boffin

Actually, 64% don't.

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It's a known fact...

...that 87% of statistics are made up on the spot.

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Anonymous Coward

I could've told you that...

I was a die-hard Nokia user for a decade or so before they started to lag behind with touchscreens and the like.

Would I go back? Perhaps. But switching networks just to get 'that' phone, nahh. I'll happily stay on the same phone too for years, if it does what I want it to do.

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The main reason I stuck with Apple was that I'd already invested quite a lot of money in iPhone apps and didn't really want to have to spend all that money again on equivalent apps on another platform, be it Android or Windows Phone. Brand loyalty be damned.

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Re: Extrapolating - Eadon's predictions

Surely MS will be bankrupt by then Eadon?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Extrapolating - Eadon's predictions

"@Gribber - I doubt it - too many gullible enterprises and corporations for them to milk, and profits from corps updating from XP to Windows 7 will help - but they'll be struggling. The loss of the mobile market is hurting them, and in 3 years Google will be eating their desktop lunch."

Hmmmm! "gullible enterprises and corporations" need support! The odd Linux box does what it says on the tin, but there is a real reason it is not as ubiquitous as windows. Sorry, like it or not, but MS offers real support and because windows is so mature can be made to do what you want it to do.

"in 3 years Google will be eating their desktop lunch" really? Hmmmm! I doubt it. If its my business, I don't want Google holding my data! I don't know what they plan to do with it. If I hold my data, I know where it is and who is looking at it. Cloud may be the rage now, but just wait.

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MCG
WTF?

Re: Extrapolating - Eadon's predictions

Wake me up when Linux gets some apps, you dreary twat.

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FAIL

flawed survey

As it didn't differentiate if the users WANTED to stay with Apple, or we FORCED to stay with Apple because of the content lock-in....

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Happy

@Barry Shitpeas Re:"to stay with Apple because of the content lock-in...."

The smart-phone market is of course still young and saturation has not been achieved even in the US or Europe. It will be interesting to see to what extent and for how much longer that the content lock-in trap will be accepted by the average punter. There is a tendency amongst the "meeja" to assume that this will be the eternal condition in the small devices market. However, if we take (for the sake of debate and to have some type of date) 2007 as the launch of the modern mass-market in smartphones (when you-know-who launched you-know-what) then that market is in fact not even seven years old yet. What we could call perhaps "smart phone culture" (in the sociological sense) is still in its infancy - we simply do not know what the average punter will sit still for in, say, 5 years time and nor do the analists*.

*Spelling mistake not accidental!

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FAIL

Click bait

Take any random model, put any random parameters, get a provocative result, publish. Watch as people click on the link and enjoy the free publicity.

I wonder how they explain that Android went up to 34%, taking from iOS, if iOS users had exhibited this staunch loyalty. If you apply your model to past data and it predicts the present wrong, maybe you should change the model…?

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Sil

A politician 's promise

Buying intentions are as reliable as a politician's promise, in the same way Obama did close Guantanamo bay.

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Lazy

I've got an iPhone (my 2nd) and my next phone will probably be an iPhone because I'm too lazy to change. I've paid for apps, spent time configuring them and, after much effort, the phone syncs reliably with my Mac's calendar, notes, contacts and useful files. My email accounts are all set up and when I buy a new iPhone it will look (functionally) like the old one within 30 minutes of plugging it into my Mac.

I'm sure Android phones are fine, but unless Apple messes up the next phone (e.g. makes it harder not to use cloud, reduces memory or makes it less useful as a telephone) then I just can't be bothered to start again with a new phone.

If Android want my business then the thing I'd value most would be to be able to plug the new Android phone into my Mac and have it auto-configure itself like my iPhone as much as possible (e.g. set up the synchs to Outlook, iTunes and wireless file sync so they just work, set up all my email accounts, etc) and automatically suggest equivalent or similar Android apps to the iPhone ones I've downloaded.

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