Apple study: Android buyers wanted to stand by their carrier

A new Apple internal study explains why Android buyers who were considering an iPhone went with a device from the other side.

Josh Lowensohn
Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
2 min read

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- According to Apple's internal research data, the top reason U.S. phone shoppers bought an Android device instead of an iPhone was to stick with their carrier.

The study, which covers just the U.S. market, was published by Apple internally in January 2011, and brought out by Samsung as evidence today.

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed in 2010 -- less than 3 years after the introduction of the first iPhone and well into Google's Android era -- said they bought an Android device because they "wanted to stay with (their) current wireless provider."

Following up were the 36 percent who said they "trusted the Google brand," and 30 percent who said they liked bigger screens.

Samsung brought out the evidence to highlight some reasons people bought its smartphones that are distinct from Apple's claim that customers simply confused them with the iPhone -- a common charge levied by Apple in its suit against the South Korean technology giant.

Particularly noteworthy about this top result is how Apple responded. Since the study, Apple has added features that make its devices work across carriers, so that when users switch they have some of the same communication networks. That includes its FaceTime video calling feature, as well as iMessage, its IM and SMS protocol.

Update at 5:45 p.m. PT: Here's a copy of the chart (as big as it gets) from the trial's evidence:


And here are the full text results from that survey question:

  • Wanted to stay with current wireless service provider: 48%
  • Trusted the Google brand: 36%
  • Preferred larger screen: 30%
  • Preferred the Android market for apps (Gmail, Google Docs, Google-Voice): 27%
  • Wanted better integration with google services: 26%
  • Wanted the latest and greatest smartphone: 26%
  • Wanted turn by turn GPS navigation: 25%
  • Wanted the latest technology: 25%
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