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iPhone and Android now have a 50/50 share of the smartphone market in the US

In context: Brand loyalty and switching trends have helped Apple gain significant ground in the US and away from Google’s Android mobile OS. This is the second year that sees about the same number of activations of iOS and Android devices, but the former is a little better at retaining users when they upgrade the phone.

The latest data from Consumer Research Intelligence Partners (CIRP) is in, and it seems that consumers in the US are evenly distributed between the two dominant mobile platforms, Google Android and Apple iOS. According to the market research firm, there has been little change in recent years with regard to the activation of new units, which may indicate that the market has stabilized.

However, this is a clear and important benefit for Apple, whose mobile operating system had previously lagged behind Android in terms of new device activations.

Back in 201

7, two out of three consumers bought an Android phone, and that did not change significantly until the second half of 2019.

CIRP partner and co-founder Mike Levin says this can be partly explained by looking at loyalty and exchange. Both Android and iOS have had strong loyalty levels over the past five years, with the former retaining 90 to 93 percent of users, and the latter retaining between 86 to 93 percent.

Loyalty to Apple iPhone users has gradually increased to the point that it borders Android by a small margin, possibly driven by a number of factors such as growing distrust of Android’s security and privacy, and that Apple offers system updates for more than three years, which is a lot to request even for some flagship Android phones. In recent years, Apple has started offering cheaper devices such as the iPhone SE as well.

CIRP says that the latest findings are based on surveys conducted in the US with people who activated a new or used phone in the quarter that ended in June, so there is some room for error, and this is not representative of the general population. However, SellCell’s observations in the used phone market place some emphasis on CIRP’s conclusion that loyalty to the Android brand is declining, albeit slowly, among US consumers.

Whether it’s because of the better resale value of iPhones at a time when the industry’s shortage is affecting the availability of everything with chips inside, or because of the perceived benefits of iOS, we could not say for sure. One thing is for sure though, there are now fewer Android manufacturers, and they are definitely trying to convert iPhone users to Android adopters, or at least prevent a reversal.

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