Smartphone users happy to keep options open

by PYB James | Dec 10, 2010
 While the global smartphone market continues to rise, a survey by German market research specialist GfK shows that consumers display little brand loyalty when choosing their phones.
 
Phone manufacturers are going to have a fight on their hands to retain customers as the survey shows that only Apple iPhone owners show any degree of loyalty.
 
The survey shows that 56% of smartphone users in key global markets are happy to keep their options open when planning what phone to go for next.
 
Phones that come with high-resolution cameras and lenses, as well as GPS and Wi-Fi are nowadays regarded as commonplace, meaning mobile users have a high degree of expectation about the applications that come with them.
 
Ryan Garner of GfK was the head analyst for the survey. "Loyalty with a handset is a lot more complicated these days in that people buy into experiences at the high-end level," he told the Reuters news service.
 
"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."
 
The survey, which was published on Monday, shows that only 25% of smartphone users definitely plan to stick with the operator of their current phone.
 
Microsoft’s phone software users were the least loyal at 21% while 59% of Apple’s customers planned to stay with them.
 
The GfK survey made during October and November included 2,653 mobile owners in China, Brazil, Germany, Spain, the UK and the US.
 
According to IT research specialists Gartner, global smartphone sales almost doubled in the third quarter of this year and experts are predicting an overall 50% rise for 2010 as a whole.
 
Smartphones have traditionally commanded much higher margins than standard mobiles but Google’s open-source Android software has enabled many more operators to enter the market and challenge the big firms.

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