Customer loyalty counts for peanuts these days as buyers armed with greater awareness of smartphones, and to some extent spoilt for choice, are hesitating to name their next smartphone, a market analysis firm has revealed.
According to a GfK survey, which quizzed 2,653 people from around the world, 56 per cent of smartfans are still undecided on their next handset, with only Apple still maintaining strong ties amongst its customers.
Ryan Garner, leady analyst at GfK, told PC Pro: "People are really keeping their options open.
"There's been an explosion of new choices in the market over the last year, with Android and Windows Phone 7, and with new versions of Symbian, the RIM OS and Meego in the pipeline there is huge choice."
A quarter of the smartphone owners are willing to stick by current mobile operating system, which Apple leads with a commanding 59 per cent, while Microsoft trails in last place with just 21 per cent. It’s not clear if Microsoft’s numbers came from users of the age-old Windows Mobile platform or the sparkling new Windows Phone 7 platform, but surely it can’t be good considering the software giant has just spent nearly half a billion moolah in marketing the revamped OS.
Research In Motion, makers of the BlackBerry range which currently dominates the US market, secured the loyalty of over a third of its users, followed by 28 per cent for fans of Google’s Android operating system.
Android has been making great strides this year with the release of a deluge of smarties, so we are a little surprised to see the platform unable to command a greater loyalty with its users. Although this is doubtless at least something to do with the frustrating delays that Fandroids have to cope with when it comes to the release of the latest software updates.
Garner explained: "Apple people are more loyal, but that's always been the case in the Apple community.
"In the emerging markets, Nokia was more dominant and that dragged the overall figure down.”
It’s not all about smartphone owners, though. GfK also revealed that 37 per cent of so-called “dumb” feature phone owners plan to make the leap to the world of smartphones with their next purchase.