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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 13:14 EDT

One-Fifth Of iOS Device Owners More Loyal To Phones Than Banks

November 26, 2011

Nearly one out of every five iPhone and iPad owners say that they would have more difficulty switching to a new type of smartphone than they would changing their bank accounts, a new study from market research firm Gfk Group has revealed.

In a press release (http://www.gfk.com/group/press_information/press_releases/009051/index.en.html) posted to their official website, officials from Gfk, who surveyed individuals in nine different countries (Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, UK and the US) claim that “a simple, integrated user experience is driving consumers´ brand loyalty to their smartphone and they are less likely to switch brands the more applications and services they use on the device.”

The study revealed that 19% of consumers who own both an Apple-branded phone and tablet computer reported that it would be more difficult switching to a different company’s smartphone than it would be changing banks or utility companies.

“As consumers build digital ecosystems and their own world of content on handsets, the study shows that their loyalty to their smartphone brand increases with the number of apps and services they use,” Gfk said in a statement. “The research reveals that the tipping point for loyalty is when a consumer uses seven or more services on their device.”

“The research also examines the impact of three core areas when it comes to consumers´ user experience; simplicity of use, integration of features and access to content,” they added. “Simplicity is key and 72% of smartphone users say they find it easy to access their device´s applications and navigate the menu system.”

The report said that one-third of all responders said that disrupting their current smartphone set-up, meaning the apps and built-in features they use, was the biggest obstacle to switching to a different device.

Needing to learn how to use a different type of handset was cited as a challenge by 29%, while 28% said that needing to move their apps, books, music and video content from one type of device to another was a barrier to switching to a different type of phone.

According to Chris Burns of Slashgear, this trend is most noticeable in iOS device owners who actively use at least seven different apps or services on their phone or tablet. Nowhere else was this phenomenon more prevalent than in the United States, where 61% of all users fall into this category. In second place is China (56%), followed by Brazil (53%), France and Italy (46%), Germany (45%), Spain (43%) and the UK (42%).

The study was compiled from online interviews conducted with more than 4,000 people. Those interviews were conducted between October 17 and October 28.

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Source: RedOrbit Staff & Wire Reports