Why Do 20 Percent Of Android Users Want To Switch To iPhone? [Opinion]

Throngs of people line up in front of an Apple store.
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Android manufacturers have tried everything they could think of to get their users to remain loyal. They have tried copying the iPhone, mocking iPhone users with ads, pandering to enthusiasts as they wait in line for the latest iPhone on launch day, and offering too-good-to-be-true deals as loss-leaders in hopes of bringing in a few more customers.

On the other side of the fence, Apple raises prices, drops features that used to be standard, provides minimal accessories, and seldom acknowledges the existence of competition. Despite this behavior from both sides, Android users are switching to the iPhone at a shocking pace, while iPhone users tend to remain loyal.

AppleInsider highlights data from Merrill Lynch indicating that one-fifth of Android users intend to switch to iPhone.

“Apple was the most popular brand among switchers. Of the top five Android brands globally, 15 to 25 percent said they planned to buy an iPhone next. Among HTC buyers, 25 percent said they intended to get an iPhone, nearly as high as the 34 percent who said they’d get another HTC. Only one percent of iPhone buyers indicated interest in buying an HTC.”

One would think that ecosystem locking would keep most people in place. Conventional wisdom says the grass is only greener until you have to repurchase all your treasured apps. But this does not seem to be the case. Here are a few possible reasons more people are deciding to switch.

Free Apps and Portable Services

Screen of smartphone apps
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In the early days of the smartphone app stores on device, applications costed several dollars on average, sometimes tens of dollars. It didn’t take many before a person was hesitant to switch platforms because they didn’t want to have to buy all those apps.

Today, most apps and games are free to use and play, augmented by in-app purchases. It is not an issue to move something like the Office suite from Microsoft or Google because the apps are free and the subscription services are portable.

Security Concerns

Google recently had a security breach that they didn’t tell anyone about for over three years because they were afraid of Facebook-like backlash from the public. They felt comfortable enough to acknowledge this reasoning as if it justified their actions.

It is no secret that Google does not have the same commitment to user privacy as some. But their users have been comfortable with that so far, despite the fact that Android has the largest attack vector of any platform. However, this latest breach may be fresh in the minds of those taking the survey.

Apple’s iOS is not perfect, but it has the free apps that people want with a high degree of polish. It’s a trusted platform known for attention to security matters. Ultimately, Android is not going anywhere, and there is plenty of time to course correct. Despite this confidence, the heightened degree of android dissatisfaction is a trading indicator of issues that need to be addressed.