Three quarters of smartphone owners plan to switch operating systems when they next upgrade their device, research by GfK shows.
Surveys conducted during October and November found that just 25% of current smartphone owners will stick with their software when upgrading, compared to 56% who said they would keep their options open.
Of the 25%, Apple users were the most loyal, with 59% of customers telling GfK they will stick with the firm when they buy their next device. BlackBerry users were next on 35%, followed by Android customers (28%), Nokia’s Symbian (24%) and Windows Mobile (21%).
The final figure could change if Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 7 software proves a hit.
GfK tips Nokia to fare better in 2011, noting that major upgrades to the Symbian ^3 platform and release of devices based on MeeGo will boost the vendor’s position. RIM should also improve next year, due to its recently launched OS6 and the pending launch of its PlayBook tablet.
The research firm said the numbers show that consumers now focus more on user experience than hardware – the deciding factor until the past three years – and said the mobile ecosystem will be “vital to attracting the next wave of smartphone users.”
GfK quizzed 2,653 smartphone users in China, Germany, Brazil, the UK, US and Spain.
Separate research by IDC predicts that the Android OS will become number one in Europe in 2011, Bloomberg reported, after already conquering the US market.