Apple's iPhone is starting to lose its attraction as existing customers in Western Europe hesitate over staying with the iconic brand, according to a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics.
For the first time since the iPhone was launched in 2007, the number of iPhone users saying they definitely will or probably will purchase their next phone from Apple has declined in Western Europe and the United States, according to the study.
The market research firm reported that this year only 75 per cent of iPhone owners in Western Europe say they are likely to buy their next phone from Apple, down from 88 per cent in 2011 and 85 per cent in 2010.
"There is no doubt that Apple is continuing its success in retaining existing user base while attracting new customers," Paul Brown, director at Strategy Analytics' user experience practice, wrote in a blog post. "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."
Of particular note was the decision by Apple to change the screen size of its iPhone 5 device from 3.5 inches to 4.0 inches. However, previous Strategy Analytics research indicates that existing smartphone owners want something even bigger, with 4.3 inches the most preferred size in the company's 2011 size preference research, while early provisional results from an update to this research suggest that 4.5 inches may be the most preferred size for respondents surveyed over the last several months. That could give an opening to the like of Samsung Electronics and Nokia, which have trended toward larger screen sizes in recent years for their high-end smartphones.
- see this Strategy Analytics blog post
Apple sells 26.9M iPhones, misses analysts' expectations
Apple's mapping fiasco is trivial, its future is not
iPhone 5's LTE limitations may boost Samsung, others OEMs in Europe
Analysts: Apple's iPhone 5 leaves out many European LTE operators
European operators unite around 1800MHz
ABI: Apple, Samsung capture 50% of smartphone market, 90% of profits