iPhone 6s: Apple ‘Poaching’ The Best Customers And Apps From Android

The iPhone 6s marks the continued success of Apple’s strategy of targeting the high-end, high-value customers in the smartphone space. Not only has Apple continued to make inroads into more price-sensitive developing economies, but some estimates show a new worrying trend for Android device manufacturers. In some markets, up to 30 percent of iPhone 6s purchasers are former Android users. The Motley Fool reported on an earnings call earlier this year where Tim Cook confirmed that switchers were becoming a useful new trend for Apple in their iPhone 6s marketing.

“We’re seeing a higher rate of switchers [to the iPhone 6] than we’ve experienced in previous iPhone cycles.”

It is reported that this increasing trend of Android users switching to the iPhone 6s stands in stark contrast to the loyalty Apple experiences. An estimated 90 percent of users are reported to remain loyal to the iPhone. Even in the U.S. market, where Android has fared better than in other developed markets, the iPhone 6s holds greater sway over premium customers.

Users of the iPhone 6s are more likely to buy additional accessories, premium apps, and phone care plans than purchasers of low-end android devices. In many ways, the iPhone 6s is in the enviable position of skimming some of the best customers from the Android ecosystem, many of whom would have otherwise purchased the flagship smartphones available on that ecosystem from manufacturers like Samsung. Forbes noted that this switching has implications in the app ecosystem.

“The thirty percent alive of the iPhone market that has come from Android will bring with them far more revenue than the average Android user. Not only does Apple gain a larger user base, but it also gains the whales and the big spenders, leaving less money in the Android ecosystem for manufacturers and third-party application developers to chase.”

iPhone 6s running the Apple Music App [Image by Apple Press Center]While the Windows Phone is notoriously devoid of apps, and the Android Play Store has most popular apps, iPhone 6s users are now increasingly benefiting from a trend where premium app developers bring their apps to iOS either first or exclusively. This is partly due to the economics noted above, and confirmed in a Developer Economics report, which indicated that the iPhone 6s is likely to benefit from users who are “richer than those with an Android device.”

Reasons to develop for the iPhone 6s first are not limited, however, to the economics of the user base. It may also be more economical to develop an app for the iPhone 6s in the first place. Infinium produced a report into how long it took them to develop an iPhone 6s app when compared to one for Android. Surprisingly, the apps for iOS that power the iPhone 6s were on average about a third shorter and correspondingly took just under a third less time to produce, despite having identical functionality.

ZDNet, while commenting on the report, went on to add that the iPhone 6s benefits app makers by offering a consistent experience for all, whereas Android is a fragmented ecosystem with a whole myriad of devices running the operating system. That means it’s much quicker to get a new app tested and up and running on an iPhone 6s. Android developers, on the other hand, face testing on dozens of popular devices before they can go to market.

iPhone 6s user holding up phone [Image by Apple Press Center]The Samsung Galaxy S6 was well received by journalists and the market, but the concerns over Android security, the higher net worth of iPhone 6s purchasers, and a tendency for app developers to either choose or simply be able to launch their iOS apps first continue to give the iPhone 6s some structural advantages over the Android competition. The gap may be narrowing, but the iPhone 6s is still looking strong for Apple.

[Image by Apple Press Center]