Android Phone Users More Willing to Switch to iPhone, Finds Nielsen

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-06-06

Apple's iPhone smartphone market share was 28 percent through the first quarter of 2010, more than tripling the 9 percent share garnered by Google's Android platform in a budding smartphone war that is still decidedly lopsided.

Apple, which is geared to launch iPhone 4.0 and its iAd platform at the Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference this week, boasts the most loyal users, according to this new Nielsen Company survey.

Some 80 percent of iPhone users want their next device to run iPhone OS, compared with 70 percent of Android users who would elect another Android device, found Nielsen analyst Don Kellogg.

Moreover, of Android and iPhone users who would switch operating systems, the rate at which Android users would like to try an iPhone is twice as high as that of iPhone users who would try Android.

Overall, iPhone and Android saw their smartphone shares grow 2 percent between the fourth quarter of 2009 and Q1 2010.

Those gains came at the expense of smartphone leader Research In Motion, which saw its BlackBerry share drop 2 percent to 35 percent, and Microsoft, which watched its Windows Mobile share dip 2 percent to 19 percent for the period.

Loyalty for those older smartphone platforms isn't looking so hot. Only 47 percent of BlackBerry users want another BlackBerry, while only 34 percent of Windows Mobile users want another Windows Mobile device.

People are embracing smartphones much more overall. Kellogg said 23 percent of consumers surveyed in Q1 2010 own a smartphone, up from 16 percent in the second quarter of 2009.

This was no doubt buoyed by the more than 50 million iPhones sold and the 100,000 Android smartphones shipping per day. Google fans have more than 60 Android devices to choose from, many of them phones.

Mobile application use is also at an all-time high. That is thanks largely to smartphones that boast full HTML browsers, Nielsen noted in this separate survey of more than 4,200 people who downloaded a mobile app to their smartphone in the past 30 days.

Smartphone users are checking e-mail from the road, connecting with friends on Facebook and using map applications, including turn-by-turn navigation. Users are also gaming, shopping, and downloading ringtones, pictures and videos.

Gaming is in fact the most popular use case for smartphones, with 65 percent of users playing some gaming app during a 30-day period. Roughly 46 percent of smartphone users listened to music from iTunes, Pandora and Sirius XM apps on their smartphones. Some 54 percent of users accessed social networks such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter.

Facebook and Google Maps ranked as the two most popular apps used across smartphones, according to Nielsen.

Fifty-eight percent of iPhone users logged into Facebook in the 30-day period. Facebook was also accessed by 50 percent of Android smartphone users surveyed, and 51 percent of BlackBerry users logged on to the leading social network during the same period.

Some 67 percent of Android phone users used Google Maps to find directions, compared with 47 percent of iPhone users tapping Google Maps and 34 percent for BlackBerry users.

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