Report: iOS adoption sees highest numbers in Q1 US activations since 2016

CIRP is out with a new analyst report today looking at US smartphone activations in the March quarter and whether consumers went with iOS or Android. On the bright side for Apple, iOS adoption for new activations was the highest its been since 2016. However, customer loyalty is very high for both Android and iOS, so there aren’t many switchers to pitch to…

CIRP’s data from Q1 2020 shows that iOS had a 44% market share in the US with Android grabbing the remaining 56%.

Compared to the same quarter last year, iOS saw a roughly 8% jump in new activations in the US. Notably, that’s two years of Apple growing its market share as in Q1 2018, iOS adoption in new smartphones measured at 32% with Android grabbing an almost 70% share.

That means a 12% gain for iOS adoption over two years and the 44% put it above the 41% CIRP recorded in its 2016 report.

That’s positive news for Apple but CIRP’s data also shows that operating system loyalty is very high at around 90% for both iOS and Android. That means that there’s a small pool of consumers that are open to switching so the OS duopoly is likely to continue even if slight changes happen over time.

“Operating system loyalty is stable at very high levels,” added Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “For the past four or so years, around 90% of new mobile phone activations stayed with the buyer’s previous operating system. Despite Apple’s efforts to attract Android users to iOS, and Android handset manufacturers’ similar efforts to attract iPhone customers, operating system usage is among the stickiest of all consumer affinities.”

In a rare collaboration, Apple and Google announced today that they are working together to build COVID-19 contact tracing into both operating systems while keeping a focus on privacy and security.

The first apps should become available in May. Read more about the collaboration here.

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