iOS Devices Accounted for 44% of All U.S. Smartphone Activations in Q1 2020

iOS devices accounted for 44 percent of all U.S. smartphone activations during the first calendar quarter of 2020, the highest number of activations Apple has seen in a single quarter since 2016.

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According to the data sourced from Consumer Research Intelligence Partners, Google's Android operating system was responsible for 56 percent of all activations due to the higher number of Android smartphones out in the wild.

Market share numbers for iOS and Android have largely remained stable over the course of the last few years with just minor fluctuations in activations due to operating system loyalty.

In the quarter ending in March, 89 percent of Android users remained with Android, while 91 percent of iOS users stayed with iOS when activating a new mobile phone. iOS and Android loyalty rates have also fluctuated little over the course of the last three years as people tend to stick with the operating systems they're familiar with.

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"Operating system loyalty is stable at very high levels," added Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. "For the past four or so years, around 90% of new mobile phone activations stayed with the buyer's previous operating system. Despite Apple's efforts to attract Android users to iOS, and Android handset manufacturers' similar efforts to attract iPhone customers, operating system usage is among the stickiest of all consumer affinities."

CIRP's data was based on a survey of 500 U.S. subjects from April 1 to April 9 that activated a new or used smartphone in the January to March 2020 period. Given the small sample size, there is certainly some margin of error to these numbers, but the data provides a reliable look at activations and loyalty over time as it uses the same survey each quarter.

Tag: CIRP

Top Rated Comments

thadoggfather Avatar
8 months ago
America runs on iOS ™
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
8 months ago


Note 20? I think that will be my first Droid.

It’s a nice phone, and it’s fully loaded. I don’t have any issues with the hardware, it’s the software longevity. If you’re paying over a $1000 for a smart phone, I would expect at least three years or more from android, which you don’t receive. Apple has always been dominant when preserving iOS with at least five years of software updates.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FightTheFuture Avatar
8 months ago
Phone OS loyalty is even more reason for Apple Watch to become smartphone dependent.

is this an "activation"? If so, is it meaningful?

According to the article, it’s based on activations of new mobile phone purchases and what the previous OS of that “activator” was on. The carriers would have that data.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
8 months ago


It’s a nice phone, and it’s fully loaded. I don’t have any issues with the hardware, it’s the software longevity. If you’re paying over a $1000 for a smart phone, I would expect at least three years or more from android, which you don’t receive. Apple has always been dominant when preserving iOS with at least five years of software updates.

5s is getting almost 7 years of updates with iOS 12 updates.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeepIn2U Avatar
8 months ago


So was the XR. Those two "mainstream" phones absolutely fly off shelves.

dislike them both ... they seem more “budget” like missing features. I hope the 5,4/5,8” iPhone 12 models don’t gimp on hardware features this year like the Xr/base 11.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
8 months ago
I wonder what an activation signifies-
If a family member gives me an iPhone 5 to add to my collection and I reset it and link it to my Apple ID- is this an "activation"? If so, is it meaningful?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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