Learning and Loyalty in the Apple vs. Android Multi-device Market

Learning and loyalty go hand in hand. We learn and from those learning’s we build trust. This combination creates loyalty. There is a mutually reliant and advantageous relationship between the two, one which can be capitalized on by marketers and advertisers who are in the know.

This relationship of learning and loyalty directly exists among consumers and their devices, as well as consumers and marketers. As consumers learn to trust their devices they develop brand loyalty, and as marketers learn more about consumers’ choices, they begin to understand that loyalty plays a key role in consumer demands. According to our Verto Analytics’ Device Ecosystem US 2014 report, this relationship is especially true in the Apple vs. Android multi-device ownership market.

Device and Platform Loyalty Go Hand in Hand

People tend to be loyal to specific devices and platforms and make choices based off of these preferences. Evidence of this exists within the Apple and Android market among smartphones users, tablets, and PCs.

These preferences, however, are not always mutually exclusive. The mobile market is exemplary of this fact showing that 9% of iPhone owners have an Android phone, and 5% of Android phone owners have an iPhone. Interestingly, this multi-device and multi-platform effect is repeated within the tablet market as well, as 9% of iPad owners have an Android tablet, and 5% of Android tablet owners have an iPad.

While cross platform and device ownership are apparent among consumers, it is clear there is still brand loyalty even within these statistics as iPhone users are
far more loyal to the iOS platform than Android smartphone users. In other words, while consumers may use different devices and platforms, they still show clear loyalty to either Android or Apple.

Just like personal loyalty affects our relationships to those around us, so does consumer’s loyalty to devices. Consumers learn to depend on their devices, and as their devices perform they learn to extend their loyalty to other devices and platforms.

We see a direct correlation between loyalty and consumer reach.  The figure below illustrates the reach amongst Android and Apple users for different device types. Among Apple users, the share of people owning iPhones is high at 70%, signaling that the smartphone is the likely “gateway” to the ecosystem platform. For Android users, the same holds true, with 85% of them owning an Android smartphone. However, more cross-selling opportunities exist in the tablet and PC categories. Out of all Apple users, 34% own a Mac, and 53% own an iPad. For Android users, the respective number for tablets is 38%.

For marketers trying to understand how to cross-sell devices or get consumers to try a new platform, this statistical data is important. Understanding where consumers’ loyalty lies and which devices they are using will allow more strategic planning and targeting of consumers.

Demographics Play a Role in Brand Loyalty and Learning

We begin to see patterns emerge when comparing Apple and Android ownership between age groups and income.

It is clear that younger people own more devices, as both Apple and Android usage is higher among 25 to 34-year olds than any other age group – 25% compared to 35%, respectively. Notably, those same patterns analyzed by household income are very different as multi-device ownership of Apple devices increases with income, but the same is not true for Android. It appears one-Android-device owners and two-Android-device owners remain stable across income classes. The reason for this finding may be attributed, however, to the fact that Apple has a higher share of the installed base among people in higher income classes.

As Apple and Android continue to compete in the future, there is no doubt that device ownership and loyalty will change as well. Consumers will become increasingly polarized in their device and platform preferences as technology evolves. It is critically important, therefore, for marketers to recognize the role learning and loyalty plays within the multi-device ownership market if they are to be successful both now and in the future.