Users Less Loyal To BlackBerry Than iPhone, Android

Michelle Maisto covers mobile devices, Android and Apple for eWEEK and is also a food writer.

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Big brand loyalty kudos go to Apple iPhone and Google Android OS smartphone users, says a new report, while BlackBerry users are a less content bunch

Apple iPhone and Google Android operating system (OS) smartphone users are a smitten bunch, but owners of Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry devices have a wandering eye for other smartphones, a brand loyalty survey released today from market research firm Crowd Science revealed.

The survey, which polled over 1,100 respondents, found an overall curiosity regarding the Android OS and a “restlessness” among BlackBerry users.

Nearly 40 percent of BlackBerry users said they’d like to make the Apple iPhone their next smartphone purchase and, when asked if they’d swap their present phone for the Android-based Google Nexus One, 32 percent of BlackBerry users said yes, compared to 9 percent of iPhone users.

Among users with smartphones not made by RIM or Apple, 60 percent said they’d swap for the Nexus One.

“These results show that the restlessness of BlackBerry users with their current brand hasn’t just been driven by the allure of iPhone,” said John Martin, chief executive of Crowd Science. “Rather, BlackBerry as a brand just isn’t garnering the loyalty seen with other mobile operating systems.”

In keeping with such loyalty, 97 percent of iPhone users surveyed would recommend the iPhone to others. When asked about Android, 17 percent said they’d recommend it to others, and regarding “other smartphones,” 18 percent said the same.

When Android users were posed the same questions, 100 percent said they’d recommend an Android device. Regarding the iPhone, 41 percent would recommend it, and 36 percent were positive toward other smartphones. Among BlackBerry users, however, only 64 percent said they’d recommend non-iPhone and Android models, while 52 percent would recommend the iPhone and 28 percent would recommend an Android phone.

Google introduced the Nexus One early this year, nearly midway through the survey’s span from Christmas Eve last year, through to 21 January. Rather than disrupt the results, Crows Science said in a statement that it was able to measure the changing attitudes of respondents.

Following the launch, awareness of the Andorid OS was said to be 91 percent among iPhone users, 75 percent among BlackBerry users and 73 percent among users of other smartphones.

As AdMob similarly related in a late-February report, Crowd Science found Android users, on average, to be younger than iPhone or BlackBerry users, with 29 percent of users falling between 18 and 24 years of age, compared to 11 percent of BlackBerry and 15 percent of iPhone users. 

Android users additionally had lower incomes than iPhone or BlackBerry users, while BlackBerry users had the highest incomes of the three.

BlackBerry users, hitting on device’s strength, also use their device more for business than the other phone owners — while the percentage of BlackBerry, iPhone and Android users who said they used their smartphones for both business and personal use was nearly identical, 7 percent of BlackBerry users said they used their device strictly for business purposes, while only 1 percent of iPhone users, and even fewer, if any, Android users said the same.

The most unusual, and perhaps contestable, finding in the survey, however, may be regarding gender. While it’s been reported that Android users are predominantly male, the Crowd Science survey found the same to be even more true of iPhone users. Among iPhone survey respondents, 88 percent were male and 12 percent female — bucking the earlier AdMob results, which found iPhone users to be more or less equally split between the sexes.

The Android users surveyed were 84 percent male and 16 percent female, and BlackBerry users were 82 percent male, 18 percent female.

Women were most strongly represented in the “other smartphone” category, representing 25 percent of those surveyed, while men comprised 75 percent of the group.

Crowd Science reports that respondents were randomly recruited from “Websites serving more than 20 million unique visitors.”

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