Saturday, April 23, 2011

What Would it Take to Get You to Switch to an iPhone?


That's what Business Insider asked, in its "The Truth About Smartphones" survey. It also asked what'd get you to switch to another kind of phone, although it lumped Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 together.

So, how closely did the poll match how you think?

The iPhone is still the benchmark ...

Over half of respondents said they would switch to a non-iPhone, if it was "BETTER than the iPhone in most key ways". Only 6.1 percent would switch if the phone was just equal to an iPhone, which makes sense; customer satisfaction surveys suggest that people aren't champing at the bit to switch from the iPhone to something else.

... but needs to play nice with others

Almost a third of respondents said they'd consider switching to "An iPhone that works better with non-Apple apps and products." (I selected this option myself, although that was mostly because I didn't like the option that said "Nothing: I hate Apple.")

You could interpret that as a condemnation of Apple's "closed" ecosystem, where everything's tightly controlled by the company. On the other hand, it could also be a reflection of how Apple's perceived, simply because of the vague wording. What Android apps do people wish iPhones had? What non-Apple products do they wish they'd work better with?

It's true that Apple's AirPlay streaming technology doesn't use the DLNA standard, and that its FaceTime video chat only works with other Apple products. But on the other hand, both of these things are often fiddly and technical to set up on competing phones. And for a variety of reasons, Android itself has no killer apps, unless you're a diehard fan of customization.

Platforms matter

38.2 percent of respondents said they most cared about a smartphone's underlying platform, whether it was Android or iOS (the iPhone's operating system). I guess more people recognize the Android mascot than I thought. But more than that, they might be able to articulate some reason why they like Android better than iOS ... or vice-versa.

Apps, not so much

What was surprising to me was that less than 10 percent of respondents said that app selection mattered to them, when choosing a new smartphone. Maybe that's because people take it for granted that basic apps -- stuff like Twitter, Pandora, and Facebook -- will be available on every phone. On the other hand, it's possible that iPhone fans wrapped their love of iPhone apps into their love of the iPhone platform itself.

It's also possible that many people don't realize what apps are available for other platforms ... in other words, what they're missing out on. Or in some cases, what they would be missing if they switched.

People do care about features

An interest in new features was nearly neck-and-neck with platform loyalty, at 33.1 percent compared to 38.2 percent, suggesting that people might be tempted to jump ship for a phone with substantially better features. But exactly what features count?

Perhaps if Apple finds a way to market exclusive apps as a feature, it might stem some of Android's market share growth. On the other hand, judging by its commercials it's already been doing so.

Conversely, if some new and exclusive apps show up in the Amazon Appstore for Android, Amazon just might be able to use those as a selling point for its (possible) future Android Kindles.

Jared Spurbeck is an open-source software enthusiast, who uses an Android phone and an Ubuntu laptop PC. He has been writing about technology and electronics since 2008.

Related Articles

0 komentar :

Post a Comment