A SURVEY of buying intentions suggests that walled gardens won't ensure mobile phone brand loyalty, with most consumers ready to change their handsets.
To be released later today, a survey by international marketing company Gfk found that 56 per cent of smartphone owners in key global markets are keeping their options open about what phone they will buy next. Unsurprisingly only the majority of Apple fanbois expect to stick with their choice of phone.
The Gfk survey shows that 59 per cent of Iphone owners expect to buy another, while on average only 25 per cent of other brand owners intend to stay loyal to their phone and operating system. For Research in Motion's BlackBerrys the loyalty figure is 35 per cent, for Google 28 per cent and for Symbian, 24 per cent. Microsoft came in last with 21 per cent.
The marketing firm found that as WiFi, GPS and high-resolution cameras are common, smartphone users want easy to use services that they can obtain from app stores. The readiness to change phones despite the emphasis on app related services shows that walled gardens won't ensure customer loyalty.
While Apple has an established following ready to put up with Itunes limitations, the survey suggests that Microsoft's approach with Windows Phone 7 and its version of Itunes, Zune, will not guarantee repeat customers.
"If a phone doesn't do what it says it will do or what the owner hopes it will do, the maker will lose loyalty," Ryan Garner, the lead analyst on the survey told Reuters.
Gfk conducted the survey of 2,653 mobile phone users in Brazil, Germany, Spain, Britain, the United States and China online during October and November. µ
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