Android users moving to iOS at record high, according to research

November 11, 2013
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With the excitement surrounding Apple’s move to 64-bit architecture, it makes a bit of sense that some Android users would jump ship. According to a recent poll, 21% of new iPhone users for the month of September had switched from Android. That’s a respectable number, and also the highest move from Android to iOS ever.


This time last year, the migration pattern saw a 16% hike on the heels of the iPhone 5 launch. That device, while nice, was a natural update, not a shift. The near duopoly of the iPhone 5S and 5C offer a bit more in regard to flash, and the 64-bit architecture Apple moved to is certainly impressive. But does that cause such a jump in Android users going to iOS?

The short answer is no. As more users begin to snatch up smartphones, they naturally move to Android. The platform offers a variety of lower cost devices, and can be obtained pretty easily via a variety of avenues. Coming from a feature phone, users are often not willing (or not able) to make a giant leap to a full-fledged device straight away.

cirp-android-iphone

Many users are also OS agnostic, not loyal or binding to any one platform. They don’t have all their eggs in one basket, and still utilize things like iTunes with the help of an iPod. For them, just having a great phone is enough. Google services like Gmail or Drive are not platform specific, either, so much of the roots put down in the Android realm can be reached via iOS as well.

Scale and market share should also be appreciated. Android is growing at a phenomenal rate, and it’s fast becoming a two-horse race between iOS and Android. Between the two, they realize about 90% of the domestic smartphone market. When you team up to dominate, users can be expected to leave from time to time. They can also be expected to return.


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  • hohopig

    CErtainly shows a bit of bias if they only track the iphone results :P And how big is the sample size of that survey? :P

    • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ Stynkfysh

      It was a sample of 400. Probably 400 people who walked in a store with an Android phone in hand :p

  • Christopher Robert

    So this is an article about the US only? Should be specified. because 21% looks like a huge number, until you realize it is USA only then it looks a whole lot smaller.

  • Meanguy

    How about ios users switching to Android?

    • AbbyZFresh

      Ding ding ding. With all the Google apps being transported and updated on iOS, there HAS to be a considerable amount of people intriguing for Android for more of the experience. Where are the numbers?

  • Cory Wilson

    Why? I don’t necessarily hate apple but switching to iOS your just loosing features and services, gaining nothing.

  • Frank the Fixxer

    That’s not at all how I read the report. My interpretation of the chart is that in 2012 there were 20% of former customers migrating from a dumb phone to an iPhone, which in my opinion, is the natural progression since the iPhone is practically a dumbed down smartphone for people who don’t really “tinker”. The other huge demographic of updaters were existing iPhone users, which stands to reason. If you are an iPhone customer and have purchased a bunch of Apple Store purchases, you’ll want a place for those purchases to go when your device is antiquated. So, you’ll feel compelled to upgrade to the next bastion of technology Apple offers since you’re “landlocked” by the software you are just too frugal to write off as a loss. People consider their app purchases as a lifetime property, and in turn, an investment. When more and more apps live on the “cloud” and are less bound by device installations, iPhones will see a huge drop in sales when it becomes strictly a hardware battle. Apple just can’t compete with EVERY other manufacturer when it comes to technological development.

    • Scottyb112

      Agreed with the outlook of the chart. Pus the Android block is still bigger then it was the previous year. Blackberry, and basic phones both have shrunk. So they must of came from those two and not android

  • Mark

    I’d be willing to guess that this is mainly from the iPhone 5C pulling in more people that used to be on low-end Android phones rather than people switching from flagship devices. It’d also be interesting to see data for a full year rather than just a quarter or month. You’ll obviously see the most switches around the time of a new phone launch, but that short spike is evened out much more if you’d look at data from a larger time period.

  • digidude

    Where ELSE would they come from? Android rules the market outside of iOS.

  • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ Stynkfysh

    Sample of 400 and current iPhone owners don’t see the need to upgrade because of minimal update = higher ratio of Android migrants. Nothing noteworthy here. Misleading info. in the results of this survey. Too many question to derive anything meaningful from.

  • Luigui2012

    sponsored by apple

  • jwinford

    A lot of those switching confuse Android and “Droid.” Secondly, they are only familiar with Gingerbread…

    With that said, I have been curious to try Apple. I mean, it seems pretty nice. Besides the lack of customization, the other biggest complaint I hear about the OS is that it’s missing simple capabilities such as being able to click an address in the browser and having it open maps instead of having to copy the address and then open maps and paste it in. But my biggest personal problem is the price! I like to buy unlocked devices and I cant justify spending $800 on the latest and greatest. And I’m I’m not interested in used.

    • sbarowsky

      nexus 5

      • jwinford

        The things I’m reading about the battery life are just breaking my heart. I’m a heavy user and so far reviews suggest I’ll be needing a charge by or a bit before the end of an eight hour work day. I really want to try the moto g, but once again, that price…. 499 unlocked on T-Mobile… Pffffttt.

    • Shannon Doak

      Don’t forget app integration. If you want to share in iOS with any other app other than Facebook or Twitter you will have a convoluted trail of copying, closing and opening various apps, pasting, composing posts, sending and then more convoluted actions to get back to where you were. Android is by far the most efficient OS do not switch. You will regret it.

      • jwinford

        App integration! Yes, that’s what i was trying to describe. That and the price are my two biggest hang ups.

  • David Loman

    Well… I’m not willing to move to iOS, that would be a stupid approach. However I find myself sick of Samsung phones. I’ve had to install several ROMs in order to improve my Note 2’s performance and to be able to use my Ext SD as an internal, since 16gb of internal storage are not enough with the almost 6gb the OS eats and another 1 or 2gb of partition. I’m really sick of ROMs because there will always be a tiny bug that bothers over and over. I’m using Phoenix ROM on my Note 2 and it eats up the battery and some other stuff like reboots and so on. Plus the fragmentation issues. I can understand a newbie who gives Android a try and finds mid-end phones with just 4gb of available storage and a slow-often-laggy OS. I deal with a lot of newbies and most of them are impressed with Android but eventually they come to me for help because their Galaxy S3 mini or some other similar device keeps lagging or the screen is unresponsive and so on. That’s a real bug for Android. I mean, not to support or befriend Apple but, at least they don’t have that type of problems. I can understand why a non-geek guy would want to go back to Apple or stay with them. I know my way around Android and can pretty much manage my way out of any bug. But it really get in my nerves that I’ve always had all high-end Samsung phones and in Mexico they just give you 16gb versions and eventually it gets laggy or something goes wrong with it. My next phone will have to be a Nexus device or a Google Edition S4 or HTC One. That is really the only issue I keep seeing with Android so far. That said, I really get bored with iOS. Would never switch.

    • sbarowsky

      samsung sucks its always buggy try a nexus

      • David Loman

        That is what I will do very shortly my friend

  • V.A.N.

    The people who switch from Android to iOS are not tech savvy users. Why would they care for a 64-bit system? They probably don’t even know what that is.

    • AbbyZFresh

      They are what we call, the novice Android users. Basically the userbase the Moto X is supposed to be gear towards but isn’t doing so well at.

  • R.E.A.

    The title of this article is not justified by the study the article cites.  A year ago, folks buying a new iPhone were more likely to have a non-iPhone/non-Android device.  
    Some switched from Blackberry, some from Nokia, and some previously had a dumb phone.  Today, less of those users exist so naturally the percentages of people upgrading from them will be less.
    Likewise, a larger percentage of the population now owns either an iPhone or Android phone today than a year ago.  Therefore, someone buying a new iPhone today would be more
    likely to be upgrading from one of those two kinds devices.  The study results are as expected, with the percentages for both iPhone & Android rising compared to a year ago.

    If you want to determine whether Android users are switching to iOS at a record rate, you have to use a different denominator.  Instead of comparing the number of iPhone purchases that came from Android
    to the total number of iPhone purchases, you have to compare the number of iPhone purchases that came from Android to the total number of Android users.  In other words, you have to look at the percentage of Android users that switched compared
    to the same period in previous years.  The cited study doesn’t do that.

    • SuperSam64

      Good point. Another point is that the number (or percentage) of Android users switching to iPhone should be compared to the number (or percentage) of iPhone users switching to Android. I would be willing to bet there are more of the latter, considering that Android marketshare is up while iPhone marketshare is down based on the most recent numbers.

      Using small numbers for the sake of easy math, if we assume that the prior record number of users switching to iOS from Android was 200, and this month it was 400, that wouldn’t mean anything if, in the same month, the number of users that switched to Android from iOS was 2000.

  • tonkemaskin

    Considering that Android is on about 80% on all smartphones, it really is a crap statistic.

    Where else are NEW iphone users going to come from? Dumbphones, Blackberry or Windows Phone. If anything it ought to be a much higher number to cause any kind of an uproar.

  • Andrew Hope

    “People excited about 64bit architecture” so dumb, well I guess it was written by a fanboy. We are still about 2-3 years from 64bit actually having any use when more powerful SOCs & ram(over 3-4gig)are seen in phones. A move from Apple to Android would be a step back for me. My first & last iPhone was a 3g in 2008 when I stood in line with the other idiots, but it was still way out in front of anything else then. Then I moved over to the first Galaxy S, & every Galaxy upto the S3.then when, Samsung became the very thing I despised in Apple, I took my apps elsewhere. I really want Nexus devices just to step up a little more, although the Nexus 5 is a bargain, but I’ll stick with my HTC One for now which I love. Am actually interested to see what CrApple come up with in next year’s iPhones because I feel it’s make our break time for them. I do think they will come up with something special, but it is still running iOS. Just using flash & able to download torrent movies straight to my device is reason enough to stay with Android…

  • MrDivaNYC

    yeah I don’t think so buddies! The only fools moving from Android to iOS are fools and people who are mentally slow! Can’t think for themselves! Timid! Only intelligent people use Android!

    This is the way it has always been. OoOh Me me me me….I want an iPhone! Follow the crowd. Can’t think on your own. huh? Yeah I know! Well, anyway, BBM me: 7B725FA9

  • SuperSam64

    “As more users begin to snatch up smartphones, they naturally move to Android. The platform offers a variety of lower cost devices, and can be obtained pretty easily via a variety of avenues. Coming from a feature phone, users are often not willing (or not able) to make a giant leap to a full-fledged device straight away.”

    So, let me make sure I got this straight, in this scenario, the Android device is not a “giant leap” to a “full-fledged device” and the iOS device is?

    That made me LOL!!! Thanks, buddy. But seriously, Android recently achieved 81% marketshare, up from 76%, while iOS went from 16% down to 12%. To those who will say “marketshare isn’t everything”, I am not trying to suggest it is, I’m merely pointing out that in contrast to the implications in this article, Android is gaining more momentum than Apple.

    The statement that the number of Android users switching to Apple devices has hit a record high may be true, but if it is, it is not relevant out of the context of the fact that consumers are buying Android devices at an increased rate while they are buying Apple devices at a decreased rate. I wonder how many there are on the other end (switching to Android from Apple)? And how many people are choosing Android as their first smartphone? The point being that somewhere there is another factor not only balancing the number of users switching to each platform, but in fact tilting the scales in Android’s favor; if this were not the case, the recent marketshare increase and decrease wouldn’t be possible. These numbers make a difference, but clearly the author only wishes to list numbers that favor Apple.

    Of course, in all likelihood, the title is just another troll title meant to bring readers to the page so they can go back and forth about which OS is better and in the process maybe click one of the ads here and there to make the hosts a buck or two.

  • PlaGeRaN

    Blackberry: The New Nokia lol! It looks like those two companies are vanishing faster every year!