2010 Apple Survey: Carriers Matter to Prospective iPhone Buyers

The results of a 2010 internal Apple study about why customers who considered an iPhone, but ultimately went with Android were released during today’s court proceedings, and show just how much AT&T’s exclusivity of the iPhone may have hurt iOS’ market share at the time that Android, and particularly the Droid brand, was growing.

The results show that 43% of customers preferred to stay with their current carrier, be it AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile, and simply choose a device from the available lineup.

Devices like the Google Nexus One, HTC EVO 4G and Droid Incredible, and the Samsung Galaxy S populated the walls of multiple carriers, while the iPhone was stuck to AT&T. This didn’t change until the winter of 2011, when the iPhone was finally launched on Verizon after the original period of AT&T exclusivity ran out. During this period, when consumers wanted a smartphone but were (as this survey suggests) unwilling to leave their carrier to get it, Android’s availability, and not necessarily the quality¬† or brand of any particular product, drove its growth.

The survey goes on to show that 36% trusted the Google brand, which isn’t surprising: a device with the “Google” logo – something that most people see or use every day of their lives – instills a certain amount of trust in the quality of the product. The next segment preferred a “larger screen.” 2010 saw the introduction of some of the first large-profile devices, like the HTC HD2 running Windows Mobile 6.5, and the HTC Evo 4G. Both featured a 4.3 inch screen. Samsung also shipped larger devices with the Galaxy S, which featured a 4 inch Super AMOLED panel.

The rest of the survey results are included below. Remember that these results are in response to the question of “Why did a consumer who considered an iPhone end up purchasing an Android-based device?”

43% Wanted to stay with current provider
36% Trusted Google brand
30% Preferred larger screen
27% Preferred Android Market
26% Wanted better Google services intergration
25% Wanted latest and greatest smartphone
25% Wanted turn-by-turn GPS
25% Wanted latest and greatest technology

[The Verge]

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