Based on smartphone activations data, a new report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) reveals that iPhone and Android smartphones split the mobile market, equally, in the United States. In the second quarter of 2021, iOS and Android, each accounted for 50 percent of new smartphone activations in the country. The is another major milestone achieved by Apple because Android smartphones have dominated the market for years.
Brand loyalty and switching enabled Apple to reduce the gap between iPhone and Android new smartphone activations in the United States
In the report viewed by 9to5Mac, CIRP co-founder, Mike Levin explained that in recent years Apple has dominated Android in two areas: loyalty and new switchers. Therefore, with higher loyalty, iPhone closed in on Android’s market share.
Loyalty and switching help explain some of the change in share of new phone activations, with iOS gaining loyalty in a market with minimal switching. In the most recent quarter, Apple had an edge in loyalty, with 93% of prior iPhone owners upgrading to a new iPhone, compared to 88% of Android owners staying with Android. Over several years, iOS gained about five percentage points in loyalty, while Android remained flat. This allowed Apple to steadily increase the iOS share of new smartphone activations.
After the launch of all four iPhone 12 models, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that the company saw an increase in Android switchers and upgraders at the Q1 2021 earnings call.
“If you look at this past quarter, which has — we started selling two — two of the iPhones four weeks into the quarter and the other two seven weeks into the quarter. And so I — I would caution that this is in the early going.
But in looking at the iPhone 12 family, we saw both switchers and upgraders increase on a year-over-year basis; and in fact, we saw the largest number of upgraders that we’ve ever seen in a quarter. And so we were very thrilled about that.”
He further added that innovation and technology introduced in the latest flagship series facilitated the expansion of the iPhone’s active installation base.
iPhone grew by 17% year over year, driven by strong demand for the iPhone 12 family, and our active installed base of iPhones is now over 1 billion. The customer response to the new iPhone 12 models’ unprecedented innovation from world-class cameras to the great and growing potential of 5G has been enthusiastic, even in light of the ongoing COVID-19 impact at retail locations.
These claims are substantiated by CIRP’s own survey of the smartphone market in the U.S. Earlier CIRP revealed that “Apple Bursts from COVID-19 Pandemic” with iPhone 12 series accounting for 63% of iPhone sales in the United States in Q3 2021.