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Survey Explores Why People Switch Mobile Operating Systems

During quarterly earnings calls, Apple CEO Tim Cook often boasts about the high rate of customers who are switching from Android devices over to iPhones. Recent research data has suggested Android switchers account for 15 to 20 percent of iPhone purchases.

A new survey of 2,500 people conducted by PCMag delves into the reasons why iOS users switch to Android and why Android users switch to iOS.


18 percent of customers who switched mobile operating systems went from Android to iOS, while just 11 percent dropped iOS for Android.

47 percent of customers who switched over to iOS from Android said that they chose to do so for a "better user experience," while 25 percent cited "better features" like camera and design.

11 percent of respondents switched to iOS for better prices, while other reasons for switching included more apps, faster software updates, and better customer service.

On the Android side, customers switching to Android from iOS cited better user experience and better prices as the main reasons why they chose to adopt a new operating system.

While there were a small number of switchers among those surveyed, 71 percent have never switched at all, remaining loyal to their operating system of choice. According to data shared earlier this year by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, both iOS and Android have high customer loyalty rates.


It's difficult for smartphone companies to get customers to switch operating systems, and this has led Apple to lure Android users through a variety of methods, including trade-in options, ads touting iPhone features compared to Android devices, a Move to iOS app to make transitioning simple, and a "Switch" website dedicated to explaining all of the reasons why the iPhone is better than competing smartphones.


According to PCMag's survey, operating system isn't the biggest factor in why customers choose one smartphone over another. 33 percent cited price as the reason for picking an iOS device or an Android device, while 26 percent said brand mattered. 19 percent said that operating system was the main reason for choosing iOS or Android.

PCMag also shared a few other interesting data points that came from the Apple and Android customers it surveyed. Among customers who made a switch to a new operating system or are considering making a switch, 56 percent said they didn't care about new smartphone releases.

34 percent said they buy a new phone when their contract is up, and 17 percent said they make a new phone purchase only when they break the screen on their current phone.

Apple may see a new wave of Android switchers over the course of the next few months with the launch of the 2018 iPhones. Android switchers typically choose larger "Plus" sized iPhones when switching and Apple is set to debut an iPhone with a 6.5-inch OLED display, the company's biggest iPhone screen to date.

Glass panels for the three iPhones coming in 2018

The 6.5-inch OLED iPhone will be sold alongside a 5.8-inch OLED iPhone and a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD and a lower price tag, which could also lure Android users. Rumors have suggested the 6.1-inch iPhone, which will offer up Face ID and an edge-to-edge design, could be priced somewhere around $700.

Tag: Android


Top Rated Comments

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4 weeks ago
More people switched to Android than people switched to iOS for “better customer service”?!?! What customer service does Android even have???
Rating: 37 Votes
4 weeks ago
I'm surprised Better user privacy and security isn't a category. That alone is enough reason to switch to iOS in my opinion.
Rating: 37 Votes
4 weeks ago
Wait, there are people who switch to Android for better customer service and faster software updates?!
Rating: 19 Votes
4 weeks ago
Hmmm ... "security/privacy" wasn't even a category????? "Ecosystem", anyone, anyone?? I never really thought much of PCMag anyway.
Rating: 15 Votes
4 weeks ago

Yah know, Samsung ain't the only android phone manufacturer.:rolleyes: And Apple's CS ain't the best in the world. Hail, my wife had to wait for nearly an hour just to have a Genius look at her iPhone. There are lots of smaller manufacturers have outstanding CS. Very easy to talk to customer service rep and no lines. With big corps, you're just a number.

As for software updates. I'll have whatever they're smoking:D unless they mean custom ROMs (highly unlikely). Custom ROMs are updated weekly, even nightly. With android manufacturer's ROM, you're lucky to get ANY update.o_O


Apple does have the best customer service in the world. Check consumer reports and others.
Rating: 12 Votes
4 weeks ago
I am amused at the better customer service and faster software updates reasons for leaving iOS to Android.

[USER=826317]@RCS31[/USER] - the comparison is correct; no other way here.
Rating: 11 Votes
4 weeks ago

Hail, my wife had to wait for nearly an hour just to have a Genius look at her iPhone.


How long do you think your wife would have waited in line at the LG/Samsung/Motorola/etc. store? ;)
Rating: 10 Votes
4 weeks ago
I'm a little surprised that only 4% of Android to iOS users cited faster operating system updates.
Rating: 10 Votes
4 weeks ago
Guys! We need to turn this one around quickly!!!!

How can we make the knockoff devices seem better!!?
[doublepost=1535054222][/doublepost]

Comparing iOS to Android isn't really the correct comparison to make. Only Apple devices run iOS, many thousands of phones/tablets run Android.


Oops! Too late!

Thank you!
Rating: 9 Votes
4 weeks ago
I think these numbers are a bit misleading.
For example, it seems like 6% of people switched to Android because it has more apps, while only 4% switched to iOS because it has more apps. However:

18 percent of customers who switched mobile operating systems went from Android to iOS, while just 11 percent dropped iOS for Android.

(I have no idea what the other 71% were switching from or to. Maybe they're all finally switching off of Blackberry? In any case...)

The percentages are of those starting points. That means that 6% of 11% of total switchers (= 0.66% of total switchers) switched to Android because it has more apps. And 4% of 18% of total switchers (= 0.72% of total switchers) switched to iOS because it has more apps.

That means that - absolutely speaking - more people switched to iOS for more apps than did to Android. That's not readily apparent in the chart. And the same "shift" goes for all the other numbers, though perhaps not with the same reversal of "results".
Rating: 7 Votes

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