Android Tops iOS In Smartphone OS Loyalty According To CIRP Study

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When it comes to today's smartphone users, they typically fall into one of two camps: Android or iOS. Google's Android operating system is by far the most popular mobile operating system, with nearly 75 percent of the global smartphone market. Apple's iOS, however, is in a distant second place with a 20 percent share.

But once someone gets settled into their new Galaxy S9+, Pixel 2 XL or iPhone X, how likely are they to jump ship and try to the "dark side" of the competing ecosystem? According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), most users stay put once they've bought into a mobile ecosystem.

The research firm discovered that Android's loyalty rate is a high 91 percent, while iOS comes in at 86 percent. CIRP says the it arrives at its figures by measuring "the percentage of customers that remain with each operating system when activating a new phone over the twelve months ending December 2017."

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After experiencing some wild fluctuations between 2014 and early 2016, consumers have pretty much become set in their ways and aren't really prone to switching. "With only two mobile operating systems at this point, it appears users now pick one, learn it, invest in apps and storage, and stick with it," writes CIRP. "Now, Apple and Google need to figure out how to sell products and services to these loyal customer bases.”

Android's edge in loyalty could be due to the fact that there is such a wide variety of smartphone designs to choose from at a wide variety of price points. So, if you're unhappy with a smartphone from say, LG, you could always try out something from Samsung, or Google or even Motorola while still staying within the Android ecosystem.

“Over time, Android loyalty gradually increased, as it achieved parity in availability of apps, music and video, and as the user experience on the two platforms became more similar," said Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP.