iOS devices accounted for 44 percent of all U.S. smartphone activations during the first calendar quarter of 2020, the highest number of activations Apple has seen in a single quarter since 2016.
According to the data sourced from Consumer Research Intelligence Partners, Google’s Android operating system was responsible for 56 percent of all activations due to the higher number of Android smartphones out in the wild.
Market share numbers for iOS and Android have largely remained stable over the course of the last few years with just minor fluctuations in activations due to operating system loyalty.
In the quarter ending in March, 89 percent of Android users remained with Android, while 91 percent of iOS users stayed with iOS when activating a new mobile phone. iOS and Android loyalty rates have also fluctuated little over the course of the last three years as people tend to stick with the operating systems they’re familiar with.
“Operating system loyalty is stable at very high levels,” added Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “For the past four or so years, around 90% of new mobile phone activations stayed with the buyer’s previous operating system. Despite Apple’s efforts to attract Android users to iOS, and Android handset manufacturers’ similar efforts to attract iPhone customers, operating system usage is among the stickiest of all consumer affinities.”
CIRP’s data was based on a survey of 500 U.S. subjects from April 1 to April 9 that activated a new or used smartphone in the January to March 2020 period. Given the small sample size, there is certainly some margin of error to these numbers, but the data provides a reliable look at activations and loyalty over time as it uses the same survey each quarter.