If there’s one thing a company wants more than anything else, it’s loyalty from its customers. When a refresh of a device comes out, they want owners to dump their current model — even if there’s nothing wrong with it — and buy the latest one.
According to the results of a survey carried out by UBS Research, Apple has a retention rate so high — 89 percent to be exact — that one has to wonder where it’s going wrong with the small number that do jump ship.
UBS asked 515 smartphone owners which phone they have now and which they’re likely to buy next. The results from the admittedly small sample size show that while Apple’s retention rate is very high, customers of other companies appear to be not very loyal at all.
UBS said of its findings: ”Interestingly, when we look at all consumers who are considering changing handset OEM provider, Apple remains a significant net beneficiary. Alongside Apple, only Samsung and HTC also appear as net beneficiaries (more users won than users lost).”
It continued: “Interestingly, of our respondents who are current Apple subscribers, only 6 percent indicated that they intended to move to a different OEM, with 4 percent saying they were undecided. This suggests that the retention rate for Apple could end up being as high as 93 percent.”
The data makes somewhat grim reading for Research In Motion, makers of BlackBerry phones and the struggling PlayBook tablet. Its retention rate has dropped dramatically in the last 18 months, from 62 percent to 33 percent. According to UBS’s findings, Nokia is also suffering – its retention rate has dropped to 24 percent from 42 percent in March 2010.
The sample is so small that it’s hard to read too much into the results, but they most likely gives us a general idea of trends regarding customer loyalty. Trends that Apple will be very happy to hear about.