02/04/2015 11:13 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Android Owners Are Steady Share of US iPhone Buyers

Previous iPhone Owners Increase As Fewer Own Basic Phones

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) released additional analysis of the results from its research on Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones.

CIRP finds that among US buyers of iPhones, 16-26% switched from an Android phone in each of the past ten quarters. In the October-December 2014 quarter, 19% of iPhone customers reported switching from an Android phone (Chart 1).

Chart 1: Previous Phone of US iPhone Buyers, by Quarter

Over time, the share of iPhone buyers that come from the Android operating system has varied seasonally, yet remained relatively consistent. We have seen a gradual decline in the share coming from Blackberry and basic phones, as the base of Blackberry users shrinks, and there are fewer first-time smartphone buyers left in the US. So, as the iPhone market matures, an increasing share of buyers are repeat iPhone buyers.

For the past three years, in the first full quarter after the launch of a new iPhone model Android buyers account for a consistent share of iPhone buyers. Android users accounted for 19% of buyers after the launch of the iPhone 5 in the October-December 2012 quarter, and 16% of buyers after the launch of the iPhone 5S/5C in the October-December 2013 quarter (Chart 2, showing data from Chart 1).

Chart 2: Previous Phone of iPhone Buyers, in First Full Quarter After Launch of New iPhone Models

In the last three 'launch' quarters, meaning the first full quarter after a new iPhone model launch, Android users have accounted for roughly the same share of new iPhone buyers. Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus 'experienced the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches.' The US switch rate for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch did increase relative to the iPhone 5S/5C launch a year ago, and was about the same as the iPhone 5 launch in 2012. This week, Apple emphasized the international strength of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch, so it appears that Apple enjoyed a much higher rate of Android switching outside the US than in the more mature US market.

CIRP bases its findings on its quarterly surveys of US Apple customers since 2012. Each survey covers 500 customers that purchased an iPhone, iPad, or Mac in the US in each indicated fiscal quarter, with each survey taken in the days immediately following the end of each quarter. For additional information, please contact CIRP.