Switching Phone Brands? You're Probably Picking Up an iPhone

You may not know it, but Apple is dominating the minds of people who switch between brands of mobile phones. And it isn’t just Samsung that’s losing market share among the three major carriers. Samsung’s “switchers” aren’t even platform switchers – they’re displaced refugees from LG’s failed mobile business. So, what’s so important about switching brands of phones?

Apple dominates the minds of people switching between brands of phones

An interesting study conducted by Wave7 asked 37 US mobile phone retail reps which brand got the “lion’s share” of OEM switchers. The results showed that Apple commanded 73% of the market. The Samsung brand managed only 16% of the share. But the survey does point out that many of the Samsung “switchers” are not actually platform switchers, but instead are displaced refugees of LG’s dying mobile phone business.

While Android is more widely available in the U.S. and the rest of the world, Apple still dominates the minds of people switching between brands of phones. Perhaps this is because Apple’s brand is shinier, more polished, and the company’s commercials have a hip sheen. In addition to its superior marketing, consumers also value Apple’s reputation for reliability and performance. While many people are concerned about how much money they can spend, it’s hard to blame the iPhone for its lackluster sales.

Samsung’s “switchers” aren’t even platform switchers

A recent survey of mobile phone retail reps in the United States revealed that Samsung is getting a disproportionate share of “OEM switchers,” which are buyers who have previously purchased an iPhone. While the data may seem shocking, the fact is that Samsung has more model choices than Apple. And compared to the number of iPhones sold, Samsung has more than a dozen to choose from. That gives Apple an edge over Samsung switchers, as only 14 percent of iPhone buyers had previously owned a Samsung model.

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While Samsung is struggling to maintain a market share advantage over Apple, Android is still outpacing iOS in several key areas. Customer support is one reason that Android users switch to the platform, with 3 percent choosing to make the switch. Software updates and features are other reasons people switch to iOS. This means that Samsung is losing market share because Android has better customer service. It doesn’t help that Apple also has an edge in design, with the iPhone 7 proving to be an impressive device.

Apple’s market share is down among the three carriers

The decline in smartphone usage continues to plague the Apple brand. Apple is currently at 39 percent of the US smartphone market, which is declining, as the volume mix shifts away from new devices to older models. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the US market sold fewer smartphones than it did in the same period last year, largely because early adopters purchased the iPhone XS Max in September, October, and November. Apple’s top channel partners in 4Q18 were Verizon, Alcatel, and Motorola, which all grew from a small base.

In a report published today, Wave7 data shows that Apple’s overall market share is down. Compared to last month, iOS saw slight declines across the three carriers, including Verizon, which reported up iPhone 13 model sales, but a decline in the iPhone 13 Pro Max. However, the report does note that there is little platform movement in the US market, as the iPhone continues to outsell Samsung and LG.