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70 percent of iPhone buyers won't even consider another brand

Commentary: In a new survey, the loyalty of Apple users shows no sign of receding. Which indicates the hard task ahead for competitors.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


iPhone 7 Plus

$1,000 is too expensive, say iPhone lovers. But many will buy it anyway.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung has now released its new phones

Apple will soon do the same -- well, at least rumors say it will (and rumors are never wrong).

Could anything persuade an iPhone lover to desert Apple and seek joy elsewhere?

A survey published Friday offers a grim picture for the company's rivals.

The research, performed earlier this month by marketing platform Fluent, asked 2,117 adult smartphone users about their phone-y feelings. 

Feelings on the Apple side appear strong.

80 percent of iPhone owners said they planned to stay faithful. Another 47 percent said they'd owned at least 4 iPhones. It's not clear whether these were four different iPhone models or whether the people kept buying the same model because it kept breaking.

Here is perhaps the most remarkable number: 70 percent of those who said their next phone would be another iPhone said they wouldn't even consider another brand. 

You might think this is a deep level of love. Indeed, 67 percent said they simply believed that the iPhone was the best phone one can buy. 

Another clue, though, was offered by 41 percent of these loyalists. They admitted that they're so used to iOS that the idea of switching would just be too painful. 

I fear I might fall into that category. I look at other phones and see that they might even, on occasion, be prettier than the iPhone. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was especially tempting. But the work required to switch over -- and the need to tolerate far more bloatware -- just turned me off.

It's surely fair, then, to suggest that some of the purported Apple loyalty and love might really be acceptance and even tolerance.

Recent iPhones have looked as moving as a beige rug in an eggshell-colored room, but still there's the (perhaps naive) expectation that the next one will be exciting. 

Actually, talking of the next one, the researchers asked which iPhone would be the favored upgrade.

The upcoming iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus are said to have a similar design to the iPhone 7, but with added features such as wireless charging and an improved camera. The iPhone 8, on the other hand, is rumored to have an OLED screen and a design that reduces the space at the top of the screen.

The iPhone 8 was the choice for 40 percent. A mere 17 percent picked the iPhone 7S Plus, and another 17 percent the iPhone 7S.

Of course, it's not clear whether these really will be the phones that Apple releases. But, you know, rumors. 

What about the price? Some say the iPhone 8 will cost $1,000 or even more. Charmingly, 67 percent of those who intend to upgrade to a new iPhone said that would be too expensive. 

Oh, but 40 percent intend to buy it anyway.

We're not rational. No, not even when we reply to surveys.