For the first time since the original iPhone was introduced over five years ago, existing iPhone customers have expressed less interest in purchasing another iPhone model in the future. Even worse, they might be flocking to competitors.
As reported by Tom’s Hardware, a new study conducted by Strategy Analytics shows that 88 percent of iPhone owners in the United States plan on purchasing another iPhone, a notable decrease from the 93 percent mark set last year.
The drop was worse in Western Europe, however, as the research shows that iPhone loyalty has dropped from 88 percent in 2011 to just 75 percent this year. The research firm notes that a fair portion of negative press surrounding the iPhone has contributed to less consumer interest in the Apple handset.
“There is no doubt that Apple is continuing its success in retaining existing user base while attracting new customers,” said Paul Brown, director at Strategy Analytics’ User Experience Practice. “However, negative press prompted by a perceived lack of recent innovation by Apple has meant we are starting to see some growth in the number of previously highly loyal consumers who are now reconsidering whether or not they will purchase a new iPhone for their next device.”
It is also important to add that a number of existing iPhone users may be content with their current handset, as many consumers do not feel the need to upgrade to the latest hardware. There is still a large portion of consumers using the iPhone 3GS, which Apple just only recently discontinued, over a more recent iPhone model. At the same time, Apple must worry about these consumers choosing another brand — such as Android or Windows Phone — over an iPhone in the future. The trend might be iPhone right now, but that could change over time.