In a given quarter, CIRP estimates that between 15 and 20 percent of iPhone buyers are switching over from the Android operating system. In terms of popularity, these switchers are opting for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (40 percent of those moving from Android to iOS), and to a lesser extent the iPhone 7/7 Plus (about 25 percent) and 6s/6s Plus (about 12 percent).
Android users switching to iOS also tend to buy a "Plus" model iPhone more than iPhone owners looking for a new device. In total, 39 percent of Android switchers purchased a Plus model, compared to 29 percent of iPhone users buying another iPhone. "With Android manufacturers offering larger form factors for a longer time, it appears that Android owners appreciate iPhones with larger screens, as well," explained CIRP Partner and Co-Founder Mike Levin.
For older models, more former Android owners are buying the 7, 6s, and iPhone SE models than those users buying an iPhone who already previously owned an iPhone. This makes sense, as current iPhone owners are likely moving on to the latest models, while Android switchers are more content with entering Apple's ecosystem with a slightly older model.
“In marketing iPhones, Apple attempts to persuade current users of Google’s Android operating system to switch to its iOS operating system,” said Josh Lowitz, CIRP Partner and Co-Founder.For the iPhone SE, Android switchers purchased the low-cost smartphone at twice the rate as iPhone owners during the six months ending in March 2018, proving the ongoing entry-level popularity of the small device. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Android switchers purchased the iPhone X (currently the most expensive iPhone) at half the rate as iPhone owners.
“Apple has had varying success, with seasonal variation in the percentage of buyers that are making the switch. We analyzed how Android owners that switch to Apple iPhones differ from repeat iPhone buyers. The former Android users gravitate to the lowest-priced iPhone models, which makes sense to us, with Android phones offering a wide range of models, many at relatively low-price points. And since everything on an iPhone is new to them, there is less value in purchasing the latest flagship model with the most advanced features.”
While today's report focuses on switching operating systems, CIRP's last survey looked at users who stick with an OS and discovered that Android had a 91 percent loyalty rate in 2017, compared to 86 percent for iOS. This meant that for those users surveyed, Android customers were more loyal to the Android operating system than iOS users were to the iOS operating system.
In April, Apple encouraged Android owners to switch to iPhone with a set of new ads in its "Life's easier on iPhone" series. The videos focused on iPhone features like the App Store, Portrait Mode, and Portrait Lighting, and the company linked back to its "Switch" website that's designed for customers who use an Android device or other smartphone and are thinking of switching to an iPhone.