The thought that your wireless carrier wants you to purchase a Samsung smartphone over an iPhone might seem like a far-fetched idea. Yet, according to a recent study conducted by research firm Kantar Worldpanel, that seems to be exactly what’s happening.
According to the study, 63 percent of people who purchased a device in the first quarter of 2014 were recommended a Samsung device. This represents more than twice the rate of recommendation for an Apple device and almost 10 times more than recommendations for a Nokia device.
These recommendations have had a huge impact on Samsung device sales. About 59 percent of those recommended a Samsung phone went ahead and purchased one, compared to 6 percent who eventually purchased an iPhone, based on the study’s analytics.
There are several factors at play, one of which has to do with subsidies. Unlocked iPhones are almost criminally expensive, which means that the iPhone carries a very high subsidy cost for carriers. These same carriers are concerned that Apple will rack up too much market power, seeing how iOS is not far behind Android with 42 percent market share.
Samsung phones also carry heavy subsidy costs, and Samsung arguably has as much brand recognition as Apple, but there is one thing that is apparent whenever Apple comes up in a conversation: loyalty. As Kantar Worldpanel notes in the study, “Consumers purchasing Apple’s iPhone models are the ones doing the least amount of pre-purchase research.” This is because Apple fans know that they’re going to get an iPhone and don’t need someone else’s recommendations to try and allay or augment that want.