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IPhone users tops in smartphone loyalty: Crowd Science

Four out of ten BlackBerry and other smartphone users would switch to Apple's iPhone as their next smartphone purchase, according to a recent survey conducted by Crowd Science.

On the other hand, only 14 percent of non-BlackBerry smartphone users would switch to a BlackBerry for their next purchase. Meanwhile, a vast majority of iPhone users -- 82 percent -- are loyal to the iPhone brand.

"Our business is doing deep audience profiling for Web site publishers, we have a big network of Web sites and survey respondents and we do a bunch of primary research to take advantage of those resources," said John Marth, CEO of Crowd Science, Mountain View, CA. "This study looked at smartphones in general and the iPhone in particular.

"We looked at satisfaction and willingness to recommend and repurchase different types of smartphones, and we found that the iPhone is just kicking butt, as you would expect," he said. "A certain iPhone-envy is noticeable among BlackBerry users, but it is not noticeable in the other direction.

"We looked at business use versus personal use, and found that very few people identified business use as the sole use of their handset -- most were a mix of both, which is different from a few years back."

Crowd Science currently has several thousand active sites within their open research network.

This study was conducted across the Crowd Science open research network, a group of Web sites from a wide range of topic areas serving more than 20 million unique visitors profiled by Crowd Science's audience measurement technology.

Through random probability sampling, respondents ages 14 and older were invited to participate.
Data collection was conducted from May 19 to June 8.

A large majority of smartphone owners -- 71 percent -- use their handset for both business and personal usage, with only 3 percent using them for business alone.

Other survey results include the fact that iPhone users outpace other smartphone owners in their use of a wide variety of phone functions, ranging from Internet browsing and email to music downloads, WiFi and GPS.

Compared with Blackberry users, iPhone users report a significantly higher overall satisfaction level with their phone.

In particular, iPhone users are more satisfied than other smartphone users with their phone's screen size, navigation, availability of add-ons and video playback.

These results reflect the great challenges Blackberry faces in stemming the iPhone stampede, according to Crowd Science.

"IPhone users display extreme brand loyalty -- 90 percent of iPhone users would probably or definitely recommend an iPhone to a friend or family member," Mr. Martin said. "People generally are feeling good about both iPhone and BlackBerry, but iPhone retains more mind share by a substantial margin."

The iPhone has also provided momentum for mobile applications, which many brands have used to engage consumers.

"Generationally, these devices are eating up so much more time, and the crossover between business and personal use is really interesting," Mr. Martin said. "Another interesting question in the mobile space is about launching campaigns and deciding what type of content to provide.

"We're seeing fairly compelling data pointing to free apps being an interesting vehicle for getting a message across."