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Apple And Samsung Vs. The Rest

Despite ground-breaking features and super-slick marketing, smartphones launching at Mobile World Congress this week have a difficult task ahead if they are to break the Apple and Samsung duopoly. Analysis into brand retention across smartphone manufacturers by WDS, A Xerox Company (NYSE:XRX), shows that 76% of Apple customers replace their iPhone with another iPhone, while 34% of all consumers switching device brands choose Samsung.

WDS, a specialist in customer care solutions for the mobile industry, conducted more than 3000 interviews with smartphone owners in three flagship smartphone markets; the U.S., UK and Australia. The data forms part of the company’s annual WDS Mobile Loyalty Audit, a global study of loyalty in the mobile industry.

Apple and Samsung lead brand retention

Brand retention (customers who replace their smartphone with another from the same manufacturer) is led by Apple and Samsung. WDS found that Apple retains 76% of its customers, followed by Samsung (58%). No other smartphone manufacturer managed to keep brand retention above 40%, (see Fig.1).

“For smartphone manufacturers, brand retention is one of the most important metrics to track. It’s a very solid indication of how successful their device upgrade cycles have been in retaining customers,” explains Tim Deluca-Smith, vice president of Marketing at WDS, A Xerox Company. “Both Apple and Samsung are doing very well in keeping customers excited and loyal to their product roadmaps.”
        Brand retention (%)         Share of all migrating customers (%)

Samsung 58%

Nokia 33% 8%
HTC 30% 8%
LG 37% 9%
Sony Mobile 24% 4%
Motorola 22% 3%
BlackBerry 21% 3%
Other n/a 7%

Fig.1 Brand retention and share of migrating customers (source: WDS, A Xerox Company. 2013)

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