Sunday November 27,2011 :  IPHONE USERS ARE LOYAL TO THE BRAND
 
New study by Gfk shows that 84 percent of iPhone users would select the same brand again
 
The ubiquitous Apple mobile range remains ahead of rivals in brand loyalty, according to a new report from research firm Gfk, which found that 84 percent of iPhone users said they would pick iPhone when replacing their cellphones.
 
In contrast, 60 percent of consumers who use smartphones running Google's Android platform said they would pick the same software again, and only 48 percent of Research In Motion cellphone users said they would stay loyal to their Blackberrys.
 
Growth in Apple smartphone sales may have slowed, but still rose 49 percent last quarter from a year ago, according to another researcher, IDC.
 
Ryan Garner, an analyst at GfK, said the ongoing rush to build market position was crucial for the future success of the brands as on average 63 percent of consumers are sticking to the type of phone they have – reducing the chance for fast changes in the market place.
 
Garner said the fast growth of Android and the launch of new Microsoft Windows, which will be similar for PCs, tablets and smartphones, mean there are still opportunities for others.
 
"Apple is clearly ahead of the game, but developments next year will challenge that," Garner said. "The scope for brands to lure customers from rivals has diminished and the richest rewards will go to those providers that can create the most harmonious user experience and develop brand loyalty."
 
The research firm interviewed 4,500 people in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, China, the United States and Japan.