Survey says few smartphone owners are loyal to brands

Just how many consumers in the smartphone market are loyal to a particular brand? Not many, according to a survey to be published today.

Just how many consumers in the smartphone market are loyal to a particular brand? Not many, according to a survey to be published today.

The real brands here are not the companies that produce the smartphones but rather the operating systems supporting the devices. As reported by Reuters, here's a clear look at the numbers:

  • 56% of smartphone owners in "key global markets" are keeping an open mind about their next smartphone purchase
  • 25% of smartphone owners plan to stay loyal to the operating system of their current handhelds
  • Brand loyalty is highest with Apple at 59% and lowest with Microsoft at 21% (For reference, RIM comes in at 35%, Android at 28% and Nokia at 24%)

Apple might look like it has the market cornered here. But with the ridiculous Antennagate incident earlier this summer, a white version of the iPhone 4 that seems like it will never be released and how reluctant Apple is to move on to an additional carrier in the United States, Apple has proven that it is not infallible in this arena. Yet more so, the competition has really stepped up to the plate this year.

Instead of looking at RIM in second place (which has a solid footing with the business-focused consumer base), the Cupertino-based company should be fearing Google's Android OS the most. The Android market share is growing thanks not to one manufacturer, but several companies (primarily HTC, Samsung, Motorola and LG) taking the Android platform and installing it on their new smartphones.

Android has had several major hits this year, including the HTC Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid X and 2 models, and the Samsung Galaxy S series, just to name a few. Microsoft has followed a similar path since October with Windows Phone 7, so we could see the numbers change in Microsoft's favor too.

Other factors that will likely change these figures significantly during the next year include the upcoming release of Gingerbread (Android 2.3), how well WP7-based smartphones fare here and abroad, and if Apple does really open up to Verizon or other carriers domestically.

Are you loyal to particular smartphone OS? Or are you open to moving on to another platform when it comes time to make another (or even the first) smartphone purchase?

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