Monday, November 29, 2010

Survey shows Android users are not as brand loyal

Ultimately this isn't good news for Google's Android platform: according to a study by the German firm GfK, while 59 percent of iPhone users say they would stick with the iPhone, only 28 percent of Android users say they would choose another Android device for their next phone.
"Loyalty with a handset is a lot more complicated these days in that people buy into experiences at the high-end level," Reuters reported GfK's lead analyst Ryan Garner as saying. "If a phone doesn't do what it says it will do or what the owner hopes it will do, the maker will lose loyalty."

My own experiences with Android phones, while limited, show both why the techies love the platform, and why some consumers find them frustrating: the UI is not intuitive -- at least not in comparison to iPhones and dumb phones. Playing around with a new Motorola Android device this weekend, purchased for someone who wanted a physical keyboard, the device just didn't seem as consumer friendly as either the iPhone or the new Windows Phone 7 devices. Also, I was surprised to see that while Apple and Microsoft prominently promoted their OS's, Android devices found at AT&T stores never even mentioned the platform being used. This must be the result of the manufacturers attempting to built up their own phone set brands, not the platform they are built on.

It's not surprisingly, therefore, to find that the platform that does second best is RIM's BlackBerry -- 35 percent of owners say they will stick with the brand.

Note: despite my first impressions of Android, I think it will continue to be a leading mobile OS, of course -- and it will be extremely important to future tablet devices. Also, I made a small change to the headline.


Tablazines said...

I think the problem is that beyond us techies most people don't know Android as an operating system. They tend to associate Android with the "Droid" lines of phones. Even people who HAVE Android based phones don't realize it.

But I think it's the same thing with the iPhone. People don't know "iOS".. they know the iPhone as a brand.

NKH43 said...

I agree with the previous comment, though I do think Apple has merged both the device and OS into one marketing message. Android, in the meantime, is both an OS and a device, and so is at the mercy of the manufacturers (notice how the Apple commercials always show what the iPhone actually does, while the Droid commercials are simply slick).