Apple doesn’t care that nearly 26% of its users switch to other platforms between quarters because of its focus on encouraging users to buy all products in its broader functional ecosystem, experts say. They add that users are likely to switch to Android phones to save money.
During the Epic Games vs. Apple process, internal documents from quarter to quarter showed evidence of a “sensible switch” of smartphone users. The highest percentage of user switching was between Q1 2020 and Q2 2020, with 26% of users switching from iOS to Android. This timeframe is particularly interesting as it marks the period that usually follows the announcement and release of new iPhones.
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Epic Games said during the process that Apple’s app store is anti-competitive, monopoly, and doesn’t allow developers to earn fairly. Apple said during the process that “Epic wants us to be Android, but we don’t,” pointing out that there needs to be a single highly curated app store to protect user privacy, security and reliability.
Ben Bajarin, CEO and principal analyst at Creative Strategies in California, said in an interview that many people thought the number of users who turned away from Apple was much fewer and that more people turned away from Android.
“The point that (Apple) has been trying to make, and it’s questionable whether this is a valid point, is that people switch. They certainly don’t switch 40% of the time, but they use that statistic and say, look 20 % or Somewhere north of it some are leaving iOS every quarter to switch to an Android, “he said.
“Their point is that the switch is happening, but again, it’s going both ways; their platform is growing. People are switching from Android to iOS, but in general it’s not a huge number.”
Would it make a difference having iMessage on Android?
Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central
During the same process between Epic Games and Apple, it was revealed that Apple was in favor of bringing iMessage to Android back in 2013. Not convinced this would be the right move, the company said it would “do more than a slightly better app” to encourage users to switch to iMessage from the best Android messaging apps like WhatsApp. Apple said iMessage on Android “would simply serve to remove an obstacle for iPhone families to give Android phones to their children”.
Bajarin pointed out that the conversion percentage could potentially be higher if Android phones had services like iMessage, but this is really not a factor in why users are switching now.
“My gut instinct would say that maybe that number would be a little higher for someone just willing to try something different. But most of these people have returned to iPhones for other reasons. I don’t think iMessage by itself is essentially a deal . ” -Break, “he said. “People just wanted to try something different. They tried it, reviewed it, and acted like I still prefer iOS.”
Why are users switching from iOS to Android?
Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central
Neil Shah, vice president of research at Counterpoint Research, said in an interview that many users switch because they find better deals on other phones.
“A lot of iPhone users kept their phones longer, so by the time they are ready to upgrade (you see this) the prices of new flagship iPhones have gotten more expensive. So many users who can’t afford it are finding one attractive carrier or OEM deal is likely to switch, “he said, adding that a brand new OnePlus flagship is almost a third the price of a flagship iPhone.
In China, users spend most of their time in an app or two like WeChat, so they don’t care if they are using an iOS or Android.
Shah also stated that many iPhone users have used or refurbished phones. In this case, the phone user experience will not be optimal. “So when there’s an upgrade, they’ll likely move out of the iOS ecosystem as well, unless they’re locked up.”
“There’s also a case where some Android users may have switched to an iPhone but couldn’t get used to the user interface or felt claustrophobic from an open system like Android, so they switched back or from an iPhone,” said he.
And in some cases, the user is focused on which apps they use the most, rather than necessarily caring about the type of phone they are using, Shah added.
When you buy a phone, you buy a lifestyle, and Apple created that ecosystem
Shah added that Apple is also a “master” at engaging users in an ecosystem, making it difficult to switch to another platform. He said smartphone users using their second or third smartphone are more likely to decide whether an ecosystem will benefit their lifestyle.
“Some wise users are also aware that they are tied into an ecosystem and understand that switching costs, especially for iOS, and make their decisions accordingly, whether or not to (switch) them,” he said.
In the case of Apple, Shah said the company was able to seamlessly block the integration of products, which creates a feeling of “premium-ness”.
Lifestyle and premium-ness become a factor for the claim and also for the selection of the ecosystem, ”said Shah. “For example, the premium closeness of the Apple Watch or the seamlessness of AirPods or sticky features like AirDrop within the Apple ecosystem are some good examples of attracting users to the Apple iPhone and its ecosystem.
I don’t see a coherent roadmap for Google to take over the Apple ecosystem
Source: Chris Wedel / Android Central
Carmi Levy, a technology analyst, said the percentage of users who fall under the category looking for a better deal is around 20%, and that number is falling every year.
You don’t just buy a device, you buy a lifestyle and you buy services. Over time, the time window for selling just the phone is getting smaller and smaller.
He added that a good percentage of these people don’t see phones as part of a broader ecosystem. “I think this share of the overall market will get smaller and smaller over time. In other words, as time goes on, more and more smartphone consumers are starting to view phones not just as devices but as centers of the broader ecosystem that they are buying, ”he said.
Levy says this shift toward Apple’s advantage has tipped because the company has “arguably the most developed ecosystems of services in the market,” adding that Google struggled to navigate an ecosystem.
Recently, Google announced that it has partnered with Samsung for all future smartwatch endeavors to create a “unified experience”.
Levy stated that WearOS has arguably been a disaster from day one and has gone through several rebranding efforts. But even that partnership didn’t convince Levy that Google will be able to create an ecosystem that can rival Apple’s
“Google wishes it could certainly throw anything on the wall in an attempt to regain some traction and it has failed so far and there is no guarantee that the recently announced partnership with Samsung will be successful will be where previous efforts have failed. “he said.” I don’t see any conclusive roadmap for Google that Apple would realistically approach in this way. “
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