iOS vs Android

A new study from user experience design agency Foolproof has unveiled an emerging trend in smartphone ownership and intention. It shows a movement in the market away from Android toward iOS and the iPhone with every new smartphone a user owns.

Whilst many commentators suggest that Android is winning the battle for market share based on new handset sales in 2013, this research suggests that Android will, in time, lose out to Apple.

The research shows that the more smartphones a person has had, the more likely they are to own an iPhone. As fewer late adopters enter the market, and more people move to their fourth or fifth phones, this is likely to become more pronounced.

Philip Morton, Principal Consultant at Foolproof, commented “Smartphone penetration is expected to reach 75% of the UK population by 2014 so it’s becoming less likely that demographics are a significant driver of this trend. That leaves the operating system and the overall user experience of the device and Apple’s very strong brand. Ultimately, what Apple does it does better than Android.

Our view is that the more smartphones someone has had, the more they value what it can do. They transition from thinking of it as a phone to thinking of it as a computer in their pocket. And as a smartphone becomes more valuable to people, they seek out the best smartphone. At the moment, that’s the iPhone. If Android doesn’t make larger steps towards improving its user experience this trend is likely to continue and Android will continue to lose ground to Apple.”


The above graphic summarises the data which relates to how ownership and purchasing intention changes with people’s first, second and third smartphone. Each column represents a separate sample of 150 UK smartphone owners.

The labels ‘Had’, ‘Have’ and ‘Want’ relate respectively to: what was the operating system of the previous smartphone they owned? What’s the operating system of the phone they own now? And what’s the operating system of the phone they intend to get next (when they replace their existing device)?