Apple users benchmark of confidence, loyalty: Report

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Apple’s sterling reputation received another award when mobile users reposed confidence in the California brand and said they would not trust any other brand as much as Cupertino’s.

A research carried out by GfK Group said?around 84 per cent of iPhone users would stick to their phones if given a choice to replace their smartphone. Around 60 per cent users of Google’s Android smartphones showed the same determination and brand loyalty. The study also showed that only 48 per cent of Research In Motion’s Blackberry cellphone users would not like to switch to another brand.

Popularity of smartphones has witnessed a meteoric rise since Apple launched its first iPhone in 2007. Despite a drop in growth rates, smartphones sales were up 49 per cent last quarter from a year ago, according to research firm IDC.

“Apple is clearly ahead of the game, but developments next year will challenge that,” Ryan Garner, an analyst at GfK, said. He added that firms are taking brand loyalty very seriously and trying to ramp up their products as they understand that almost two thirds of consumers prefer to stick to the type of phone they have and not experiment with other handsets. Garner insisted this trend, as a result, lowers the chance for fast changes in the market place.

The tech analyst concluded that rapid Android growth and introduction of new Microsoft Windows OS for tablets and smartphones, gives a lot of opportunities to the late comers.

GfK study said more than 70 per cent of consumers want to continue using their smartphones due to their seamless integration of hardware and software features and access to content.

“The scope for brands to lure customers from rivals has diminished and the richest rewards will go to those providers that can create the most harmonious user experience and develop this brand loyalty,” GfK report concluded.

The research firm interviewed around 4,500 people in Brazil, Britain, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the?United States.

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