Zokem: iPhone user loyalty dwarfs other platforms

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A new survey from mobile analytics firm Zokem finds that Apple’s iPhone platform is far and away the smartphone leader in terms of customer loyalty in the U.S. market, scoring 84 percent higher than Android, its nearest competitor. However, the survey also finds 89 percent of current Android owners are very likely to buy an Android device for their next phone…and that actually edges out the 85 percent of iPhone owners who say their next phone will be an iPhone.

The study also finds, unsurprisingly, that Windows Mobile and Nokia’s Symbian S60 have all but lost the U.S. market.

“The figures suggest clearly that iPhone is the top performing platform in terms of user loyalty, and therefore, it is an increasingly likely pick for a repurchase” says Zokem CEO Dr. Hannu Verkasalo, in a statement. “Android is a good number two in the U.S. market, even though the loyalty score is not nearly as high as it is for iPhones, but it seems that people who are using Android are also very likely to buy an Android-based device as their next smartphone too.”

Zokem’s loyalty ratings are based on a standardized Net Promoter Score, which is designed to measure the strength of a customer’s loyalty to a brand or product rather than measure difficult-to-qualify attributes like customer satisfaction. Zokem’s loyalty scale runs from -100 to 100, and says a score of 60 or higher is considered good. The iPhone is the only smartphone above that threshold, with a loyalty score of 73. Android came in second with 40, Samsung’s little-seen Bada platform came in third with a 33, and RIM’s BlackBerry managed a 30. Symbian S60 came in with a 24, while Windows Mobile and the Palm Pre came in with a 10. The only negative score was Nokia’s Maemo platform, which got a -36.

While loyalty scores might be predictors of future purchasing behavior, Zokem also asked direct which smartphone platform respondents intended to purchase for their next phone. Amongst iPhone users, the answer was a bit unsurprising: 85 percent intend to buy another iPhone, with 7 percent each looking at RIM or Android. However, Android users demonstrated even more repurchase intention, with 89 percent saying they were going to get another Android device, and 11 percent saying they were considering an iPhone. (None were considering any other platforms, apparently.) RIM demonstrated more fragmentation, with 61 percent of current users indicating they planned to stick with the platform, while 18 percent were considering an iPhone and 11 percent mulling Android. Symbian S60 actually saw the lowest intent to repurchase, with just 8 percent indicating they planned to get another S60 phone: 33 percent were looking at iPhones, while 25 percent were looking at Android.