back to article Half of US smartphone owners have no idea which mobe to buy next

Were "ecosystems" of apps and developers ever the clincher in the smartphone wars? The conventional wisdom is that once users are locked in an online software store they will never leave. Perhaps this stickiness has been oversold. Now 44 per cent of 1,500 smartphone owners surveyed by MKM Partners in the US aren't sure which …

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  1. jake Silver badge

    Whatever.

    Until I find something better, I'll stick to my old Nokia 5185. It works in all of Sonoma County's so-called "dead zones" ... and sometimes a telephone just needs to be a telephone.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Whatever.

      I am slowly moving back to that same general idea.. Being always connected doesn't bring as many benefits as what some would like us to believe.

      Being completely unreachable is actually becoming more and more enjoyable..

      My next phone, will probably be "No Phone".

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      The best phone is the one you have

      I reckon an increasing number of people look at their phone and wonder why they should bother "upgrading" it. Maybe the US will develop sensible phone tariffs which don't punish people for not getting a new phone every contract renewal. 10 - 15 USD ARPU anyone? You know it makes sense.

      1. Charles Manning

        What's the motivation?

        Once you get over the initial amazement at what smart phones can do, they become a bit humdrum and there is not much point in upgrading to the next one.

        I have a Google/HTC G1 that was given to me and have no urge to get something newer. The only thing that would motivate me to get another would be when this one dies.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: What's the motivation?

          It depends. If your phone is starting to get a bit long in the tooth (as is mine), then you start to make considerations. I'm currently trending towards the Galaxy S IV, but I won't commit without some more data and preferably some hands-on time on the device. I also want to see if other makers will respond to this with comparable devices (sorry, HTC, but no removable battery is a deal-breaker for me for the One).

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: The best phone is the one you have

        In my very small sample, I'd say the best phone is the one I had before switching to a smartphone ...

        The unfortunate thing is that firstly it is out of production and secondly it is a GSM/GPRS phone and hence has network limitations going forward.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever.

      No need to qualify it so much. Half of the US doesn't have a clue would have done....

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever.

      This survey is clearly bollocks. Current US market share for the last 3 months is Blackberry 0.7%, Windows Phone (the vast majority of which are Nokias) 4.1%

      Go figure....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whatever.

        Global Windows Phone marketshare is around 1% and dropping. Does that mean Americans are gullible idiots they buy whatever has the biggest marketing budget?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whatever.

          "Global Windows Phone marketshare is around 1% and dropping."

          I assume you actually meant Blackberry? They actually dropped to less than 1% now - 0.7% in the US.

          Windows Phone market share is growing rapidly - 4.1% in the US, and 6.7% in the UK:

          http://blog.laptopmag.com/windows-phone-sales-see-global-gains-while-blackberry-falters

          1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

            Market share figures

            http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/04/when-no-means-no-what-part-of-no-does-nokia-and-microsoft-not-understand-us-consumers-reject-lumia-a.html

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whatever.

          " Apple users will buy the product with the biggest advertising budget. "

          It seems like it. We've had about 4 unwanted show stopping mini ipad problems in the last 4 months. She tried to email a photo from her mini ipad via wifi today. She failed miserably and went back to her Dell. After I'd spent an hour trying to get the application to work, I discovered that this is another Apple facility which is highly erratic and just won't work on our unit . I found a solution finally by copying the photo and pasting it into a new email. However, in sending the email, the picture is inverted when received! The whole experience was appalling. An internet search revealed that the "won't send a picture" problem is endemic in later Apple products and there is no way any future products we buy are going to be Apple. I don't understand why more products aren't being returned.

          I've never found this problem with either Microsoft or Ubuntu installations

          1. Tim99 Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Whatever.

            @AC - 19:56

            " Apple users will buy the product with the biggest advertising budget. "<br>

            So that would be Samsung then: The cost of selling Galaxies.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whatever.

          "Global Windows Phone marketshare is around 1% and dropping"

          I think you meant Blackberry, who have dropped below 1% in the US and are still dropping: http://blog.laptopmag.com/windows-phone-sales-see-global-gains-while-blackberry-falters

          Windows Phone Market share is at 4.1% on the US and 6.7% in the UK and is increasing market share rapidly....

      2. Jaybus

        Re: Whatever.

        Of course it's bollocks. They clearly don’t quite understand how the US smart phone market works. Phones are locked to carriers. A Verizon CDMA phone cannot work on AT&T's GDM network and so on. Contracts are made with the carrier in order to obtain a phone at a reasonable price. A phone may be purchased without a contract for an exorbitant price, but there is little point, as the phone can only work with that carrier anyway. It’s all the same to the carrier which phone people choose. In fact, they give you n number of days to exchange a new phone for another. I know, because my wife has done so on several occasions, once because she wanted a white one instead of a black one. Verizon exchanged the perfectly functional black one for a white one with no questions asked. We don’t buy phones in the US, exactly. We buy phone service and use one of the myriad phones they offer, all of which are nearly the same cost and available at any of the carriers. So, you see, to us it seems an odd question to ask in the first place. Sort of like asking a bald man which hair conditioner he will be purchasing next. The survey was a waste of time and resources.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Half of all Us smartphone users?

      Half of all Us smartphone users never finished their high school education........

      So why be surprised at the indecision.

  2. jb99

    Its true.

    I'd never buy apple because, well, they are apple.

    I'm happy with my htc one but google are increasingly beginning to annoy me. Not sure that I want a windows phone plus would I like microsoft any better?

    So that leaves... what?

    Not sure what my point is, just to show I don't have much loyalty but I guess I'll end up with android again next time because what else is there?

    Did any of the open source phones ever get anywhere?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Its true.

      If you make decisions on "because they're Apple/MS/Google" rather than on the product being offered then you deserve what you get.

      I did find it interesting that nobody in that article mentioned Android, suggesting nobody in the real world gives a toss about the OS... Android phones are often customised so maybe punters don't even realise it's the same OS?!

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        @JDX

        I susoect that no one mentioned Android because that wasn't a question asked, or an accepted answer. As for me, I like my note, thanks and it's only about 6 months old. My next phone would probably be Samsung, but could also be HTC if I am convinced that it wouldn't be crap like my missus old one.

        So I don't know what my next phone will be. The article suggests that means I have no platform lock-in, but I can tell you with>95% certainty that it will be Android.

      2. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Its true.

        "nobody in the real world gives a toss about the OS" - well said! All the rabid fanboys on here take note - regardless of what OS you favour/hate and rant about on here, your average Joe doesn't know care - or probably even know - what's going on to make his phone go, so long as it plays Angry Birds and can send texts.

      3. Don Jefe
        Meh

        Re: Its true.

        Actually it suggests the survey didn't have Android as a selection. The survey was obviously commissioned by either a large scale vendor or a manufacturer.

    2. Aoyagi Aichou

      Re: Its true.

      Both Nokias N9 (Meego) and N900 (Maemo) have .... solid communities, if nothing else.

    3. Gerhard Mack

      Re: Its true.

      I'm in the "have no idea camp". I used to be a happy HTC Desire Z user but that phone is just getting old and HTC is discontinuing phones with keyboards in favor of "me too" touch screen only devices and it seems like all of the good keyboard phones with Android are for the US market only.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its true.

        The Desire Z was a great phone. HTC just need to get rid of their sense crap, use stock android and make hardware that folk want. Nexus devices provide such a great experience compared with the rest...and hardware choice would be welcomed. As for Samsung, their physical 'options button' is just bonkers...it doesn't even light up when there are options...so folk play a game of 'do options exist? on each screen', which is always fun.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its true.

      OpenMOKO? not really. All future handset plans have been cancelled.

      Such is the domination of Android it's hard for anything to get anywhere. Launching a new mobile platform to compete against Android is like launching a new desktop OS to go against Windows was in the 90s and 00s.

      The fact that the hardware was pretty lousy didn't help. I had a dev handset and sold it on when I lost interest. It was unusable as a phone, way too many glitches.

      Those who rave on about Android need to realise that having one platform dominating is never a good thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its true.

        "Launching a new mobile platform to compete against Android is like launching a new desktop OS to go against Windows was in the 90s and 00s."

        Microsoft look to already be succeeding with that one. Windows Phone has over 10% market share in several countries, over 6% in the UK, over 4% in the US, and still growing rapidly...

        1. Richard Plinston

          Re: Its true.

          >> "Launching a new mobile platform ...

          > Microsoft look to already be succeeding with that one. Windows Phone has over 10% market share in several countries, over 6% in the UK, over 4% in the US, and still growing rapidly...

          Microsoft is not a _new_ platform, it has been around in various ways for over a decade and once had 42% of the US market. Of course it has gone through various incompatible iterations, and that is one reason why it dropped down to 3-4% where it has stagnated for two or three years.

        2. RyokuMas Silver badge

          Re: Its true.

          @AC 12:45 - Links to where you're getting these figures from, please?

  3. Z-Eden

    Never did believe in platform lock in myself. After all, if I switch to a different OS and I return 2 years later, my apps and other purchases will still be available. Nothing is really lost...

  4. Andrew_b65
    Meh

    Lambs to slaughter

    1500 is a pretty low sample. How many were 'in contract' and how long before their phone was 'due for renewal' Amerkin style? These US consumers live in an entirely different world compared to the EU when it comes to mobile phones and contracts.

    If their phone isn't due for renewal any time soon, they may not even be thinking about their options yet.

    In all, this would seem to be a positive for Nokia and Blackberry because there appear to be a lot of floating voters. All you need do is bribe the carriers more than Apple/Samsung and you get sales come renewal.

    1. Simon Rockman

      Re: Lambs to slaughter

      I agree with all of this post except "1500 is a pretty low sample." If you've do any real consumer insights work you soon learn that 1,000 is plenty and you can get real data with a fraction of that. The incremental benefit of going over 1000 diminishes rapidly.

  5. Great Bu

    Platform Lock In....

    .....is only really relevant if you have paid money for apps from the store.

    I suspect that at least half of users (like me) only ever use free apps which can be downloaded again for free from whatever other app store a new 'phone supports, so you are not really affected by any kind of lock in. I suspect this even applies for people who have cheaply paid for apps (I would not be particularly bothered about spending a few quid re-downloading a good app again for a different OS every couple of years). It's just not a big enough cash loss to be a major factor in choosing a new 'phone.

    Now that most of the major OS's support most of the 'essential' apps that most people want, the platform difference is just not a relevant factor any more (who cares if one app store has 2,000,000 apps and the other only has 10,000 as long as both have the 10 or so you actually want ?)

  6. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    WTF?

    There was a time when people upgraded because they saw something to upgrade to. Now it seems there is an assumption that upgrade is good, and not knowing what to upgrade to is somehow a failing. I assume this survey was driven by the suppliers of potential upgrade targets?

    1. Aoyagi Aichou
      Boffin

      Nowadays, people are mainly upgrading because it's very in, because it has 0.2 mp better camera, 2% more round corners, displays with 10% more resolution than real life and 15% more slabby overall.

      And because there are new "apps". Oh and because cheap hardware in these "smartphones" simply falls apart.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        "Nowadays, people are mainly upgrading because ...."

        ...at the end of their contract their operator offers them another "free" phone. If you're not in pain from the charges, then why not keep paying and have an upgrade?

        OK, at the end of contract you could go to a SIM-only contract, but on a like for like contract bundle the difference is what, £12-15 a month in the UK, I'd guess not that different in the States? So for the price a handful of Starbucks each month, you get the latest and greatest handset. How many buyers stop to think that the "free" phone is actually costing them £300-£400 or more?

        There's some people who will say "I don't need a new phone", but they are in a minority. And not only a minority that are oblivious to obsolescence, but a subset that have taken good care not to mangle their handset.

    2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      I had these discussions with my Palm Treo 650

      I kept being phoned up by my Service Provider saying I could upgrade my phone.

      At the time (pre-iPhone), my answer was another question "What can I upgrade to?"

      When all they could offer was a Windows Mobile phone, I normally answered "And that is an upgrade?" Eventually, I went Android, although an odd quirk was that because I didn't take an upgrade when I was entitled to it, when I did, the discount I was offered was less if I had upgraded promptly. Bizarre!

      I was very happy with my Treo, and it is still by fall-back phone. And now, over 6 years later and still on it's original battery, It still lasts longer on one charge than my Sony Xperia.

      1. Brenda McViking
        Megaphone

        Re: I had these discussions with my Palm Treo 650

        Yeah, I've found that "upgrade" generally means something worse, I mean, last upgrade I took, the price went up, and the specs were barely improved (but I really, really couldn't stand Windows Mobile 6.5, even if the HTC HD2 was actually a cracking piece of kit. HTC failed, in that they promised an option to upgrade to Andorid/WiPho 7)

        Fast forward to my next phone, the LG Optimus 3D - again, cracking hardware, should be nice and fast and a decent party trick with the stereoscopic lenses and glasses-free 3D screen(yeah, yeah, gimmick but it never fails to wow someone the first time they see it). Utterly and completly trashed by LG and their forks of android which can only be described as a half-completed abortion which they've given up on. Ghost calling for goodness sake - when your phone DOESNT RING when someone calls it. Known issue for over 12 months?! Not a problem according to LG. bye bye!

        So yeah - my biggest gripe, and the only thing that is making me "upgrade" each time, is the promise of a phone that has a UI that works to take advantage of the hardware beneath. For that, my next phone is likely to be a Samsung, having been burnt by the incompetence of both HTC and LG.

  7. ObSolutions, Inc
    Go

    "Perhaps this stickiness has been oversold."

    I'd like to think that it's because people have actually been educated. I've been pleasantly surprised at the number of *garians who tell me "I know I'm locking myself into <brand>, but it's a conscious decision because ..."

    I have no problem with people going with one brand or the other, as long as it's an educated choice.

    1. Captain Hogwash
      WTF?

      Re: *garians

      Hungarians? Bulgarians? Vulgarians?

  8. g e
    Meh

    It'll be Android but that's all I know

    Like jb99 I'll not buy Apple because they're Apple, they're always playing technology catchup (yes they are) and they don't actually make anything I want, either, which is the main influencer.

    Heard the Z10 is surprisingly laggy in the UI from a colleague who tried one and you'll not find me supporting Microsoft.

    Plus I'm more than happy with Android, anyway. HTC One looks nice, the S4 is a bit of an anti-climax though has massive CPU grunt like the One does and a fine screen. Most likely will be a Samsung or an HTC, really don't know and not even sure if I care that much any more, either. Not due an upgrade until the next raft of smartphones is released anyway and I suspect that this time next year, maybe end of this year, Samsung, SONY, LG or HTC will be putting something out that shifts the paradigm again for The Next Best Thing so happy to wait, really,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It'll be Android but that's all I know

      Silly.

      1. Why so anti? Do you somehow think Apple is more immoral than Samsung (who are slated even at home for their bad employment practices)? Of no relevance except for my impartiality: in most things, not being an American device is a plus point for me (though I excuse Apple a little as rather a lot of their design is European).

      2. How can the firm that brought out the first,useable and popular "smart" mobiles and tablets be playing catch-up to those who copied the idea later, no matter how good the newer versions? Must be that time machine HG Wells thought up, or Dr. Who's Tardis.

      3. Despite 2., what is wrong with with "catch up"? Almost every improved technology tends to come from another source than the originator, as others apply a different perspective to a good idea. Do you buy your fridge or car or bicycle only from the very first firm to make such?

      4. Why should the OS be changed if it is working? In fact, most of us, who want to use a thing as a thing, resent unnecessary change. That's why, despite all the experiments, steering wheels are mainly still round, keyboards are mainly (in English speaking countries) QWERTY, the modern, basic land line telephone would be useable by someone who had not seen a new model for fifty years. Change per se is not good. It has to bring something useful that outweighs the disadvantages of change. The differences between IOS, Android and Windows, or the different interfaces on top of Android, actually do not offer better ways to make a telephone call, read the internet or exchange messages. So for most it comes down to taste, battery life, consistency of use, reliability and price. For the slightly more interested, add "security" and, linked, ability and ease of updates (without "jail breaking" or other fiddling), e.g. as Apple and, to a lesser extent Nokia manage. I have got no experience with Blackberry. For a few, it comes down to pseudo-religion or being fashionable, just as it is fashionable to "not ever use Apple", "next will be a Samsung" .....

      1. paulll

        Re: It'll be Android but that's all I know

        "not being an American device is a plus point for me (though I excuse Apple a little as rather a lot of their design is European)"

        LOL, literally :)

    2. MrXavia

      Re: It'll be Android but that's all I know

      I like the look of the One, but no micro SD card ruled it out for me,

      I like the look of the Sony Experia Z, but the screen was very poor when I tried it out..

      So the only real option for a high powered phone is the S4.

      1. eldel

        Re: It'll be Android but that's all I know

        Just about sums it up for me too. MicroSD and a replaceable battery are positives, SWMBO has a fruity phone and I don't get on with it, I've played with the winphone and I like that even less. I will look at the blackberry but the bugginess stories don't make me hopeful. I looked very hard at the Nexus 4, but the 'everything in the cloud' aspect of it finally put me off (no google - we don't have infinite data plans here in the real world). Looks like an S4 - but cyanogen saying that they won't support it makes that less appealing as the carrier crapware irritates the hell out of me.

        Sigh. My old S1 really has reached the end of it's practical life so I've gotta do something. Maybe I'll just wait until I can pick up an S3 at good money.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other recent news...

    It's on Macrumours, but....

    http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/09/nearly-half-of-surveyed-u-s-teens-using-iphones-over-one-third-using-ipads/

    48% own an iPhone, 68% expect next phone to be iPhone.

    And six months ago:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2012/04/03/one-third-of-u-s-high-school-students-now-own-an-iphone/

    34% own an iPhone, 40% are interested in purchasing an iPhone in the next 6 months.

  10. Arctic fox
    Headmaster

    It is certainly true that this does not give either Nokia or RIM anything to celebrate.

    However, I would point out that Nokia has had very little success in the US market for a fair number of years (well before they hooked up with Redmond) whereas RIM were "the Man" in the US market (particularly enterprise) not so long ago. For them these figures make for very depressing reading indeed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is certainly true that this does not give either Nokia or RIM anything to celebrate.

      Nokia produced GSM phones and GSM wasn't really popular in the US for a time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It is certainly true that this does not give either Nokia or RIM anything to celebrate.

        Yes, it took them a while to get with the 21st Century and start to ditch that CDMA crap that pretty much no one else used....

  11. Tim Parker

    "The conventional wisdom is that once users are locked in an online software store they will never leave."

    No it's not - the conventional wisdom is that once users have some tie-in, that will act as inertia to moving... same as many other situations. Don't sound quite so good a story that way though...

  12. Steve Todd
    Stop

    The haters mantra

    "Apple hasn't really added much to iOS in the last 6 years", which seems to assume that the only thing iOS consists of is Springboard (the app launcher). It's job in life is to let a user quickly pick the app they want and then get out if the way. It manages that task perfectly reasonably and has the advantage of user familiarity (ask Microsoft if users appreciate a complete revamp of how an app launcher/ GUI shell works). The APIs available to those apps (which add to their functionality and performance) have improved dramatically (the original iPhone didn't even allow native apps lest we forget).

    Oddly enough the same people use the same argument in reverse when it comes to OSX, that the new GUI features are just bling and chrome, and that the underlying OS hasn't changed.

    1. Philip Lewis
      Paris Hilton

      Re: The haters mantra

      Points well made.

      Interestingly, I have an N9 and recently had an iPhone5 flung at me from the office, so I have them both in daily use. Both are excellent pieces of kit.

      Personally, I prefer the N9 these days, which is the IOS interface paradigm with some cool features added on. Nokia were headed in the right direction with the Meego interface. There are, however, many more apps available for the iPhone.

      I have also noticed two recurring mantra from the technical punditry.

      * IOS is antiquated and uncool and no development happening

      * Apple will be "forced" to enter the low cost phone market in order to survive.

      The pundits are seemingly blind to their own ignorance and logic failures. And that pretty much sums up technical journalism.

      Paris: Because it's Friday

  13. DrXym Silver badge

    I don't know either

    I bought my first smart phone nearly 3 years ago. It was an HTC Desire. Until 3 months ago I had absolutely no idea what would replace it. Turned out to be a Nexus 4. Next time, whenever that is, it could be a Sony Experia, or a ZTE, or a Samsung, or another HTC. I simply don't know.

    And while I expect it will be an android device, I don't even rule out the possibility of running another smart phone OS. My sum total spend on Android content probably amounts to less than 30 euros. If I drop android then I lose that "investment", but it mostly consists of games which lose their personal value in time anyway. So, so what?

    Perhaps there are people who've bought loads of movies and music which only work on one platform and they find themselves stuck to it. I wouldn't be surprised if these are the people quite sure of their next phone because they've foolishly locked themselves into the platform and cannot escape.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe half respondents want an iOS phone next so they know the manufacturer while the other half want an Android phone next and they have a choice?

  15. Simon Rockman

    This tallies with my "research"

    When you ask someone "what phone will you get next", the answer "I don't know" often means they do know and it's not a straight upgrade but they are having reservations about making the change. Those reservations are not about ecosystem but about integrity of moving contacts across.

    I've been asking "what phone will you buy next" of people on buses and trains for the last twenty years. I guess I speak to around a dozen people a week. People used to want to move from the 3310 to T68.

    The trend from aspiring to the next Apple to aspiring for a Samsung is long established. I think what comes next is more interesting. My money is on Nokia, looking at the retro vibe.

    The biggest lesson in the weakness of ecosystem is TCOKR who thought BBM would lock people in. People have gone from "loving" their Blackberry to "hating" it. The emotions can be very strong. Some say they only stick with it because they want a hard keyboard. Most aspire to something else. Of course TCOKR did themselves no favours with dreadful devices like the Storm, Torch and to a lesser extent the 9900, but I think product is less important than fashion.

    There is a well-trodden path of Blackberry -> iPhone -> Galaxy S3,

    Many of those locked in to iPhone contracts will jump to the Galaxy S4 as soon as they get the chance.

    The main driver for people moving is "wanting something different". Unfortunately most of the differences are software and to the vast majority of people that's invisible and just classed as "how it works". Of course them mean "how it behaves" and they have no clue or interest in how it works. The OS isn't a strong enough differentiator for most people.

    They buy Brand.

    The MKM survey was in the US where operator brand dominates. You can still stop someone on a bus or train in the US and ask them what phone they have and they will say "Verizon" rather than Samsung. The iPhone and Razr have diluted this to some extent. In the rest of the world the phone brand is very much stronger than the operator brand.

    What is needed to grab attention is something that doesn't look like an iPhone with square corners. We need a thin, aluminium Nokia communicator with 9210 styling cues. The world is waiting for a phone with a keyboard which isn't a Blackberry. Yes, I want WP8 but most people don't care.

  16. turnip handler

    Also depends on what the phone shop staff choose to sell...

    "The conventional wisdom is that once users are locked in an online software store they will never leave."

    This is partly due to phone staff selling what they what to and as fast as they can. Basically if you walk in with an old iPhone they will try to sell you a new iPhone. Anything else and they will try to sell you an iPhone or Samsung S3. And if you actually want to test any of the phones then you'll struggle in most shops.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could these results suggest that the plebs are starting to realise that its not all about shiny shiny?

    I doubt it. They are still thick as pigs sh*te.

  18. Robert Ramsay
    Joke

    You had me at...

    "Half of US smartphone owners have no idea"

  19. Alan Denman

    Platform lock-in is indeed overrated,

    It just happens that there are some with value subtracted offerings.

    So lock-in or no lock-in its best to buy what is of more useful value.

    I doubt we lose the taste for sugary drinks as we get older, we simply wizen up to the fact that we get 5 cents value from $1 spent..

  20. Don Jefe
    Happy

    Experimenting

    In the U.S. there's no advantage to not upgrading, there's no discount on your bill even if you come in with a fully paid for (network compatible) phone you bought elsewhere.

    So I say why not experiment & see what's out there. For personal use I've done Blackberry, Samsung and now I'm using an iPhone. They all make calls and allow me to email, text and browse so personal taste is going to be the deciding factor IMHO. Not some magic formula cooked up in the creativity war room.

    This is my first Apple product and I like it just fine. It is the least buggy & easiest to operate phone I've ever had. I like the weight of it too. I don't like the non removable storage or the smallish screen though. Maybe in a few months those characteristics will influence my decision. I won't know until that time comes & that's the important take away from the survey: Those who do know what they are going to buy aren't important for a survey like this as they are already lost (or won depending on who you work for).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still using an old obsolete Motorola flipphone here, entitled to a free upgrade for years, just can't see taking it though. I'm one of the few who use the phone.....as a phone. nothing else.

    everyone in my family has Iphones and love them. I've given much thought (more than a sane person should) in upgrading to one, but one thing turns me off to that insanity, and that's Itunes.......

    having a Nexus 7, I've had a taste of Android. nothing wrong, nothing bad, I just don't use it as much as I thought I would. So why would I need it on a phone?

    1. Brennan Young

      Re:

      I've been an apple user for years, increasingly disgruntled by their slick grin shenanigans. I used a htc desire android phone for a while until it bricked itself for no aparrent reason. That turned me off somewhat, but it was good while it lasted. Now i'm on iPhone. I never use iTunes on it, rather the 'music' app, which is a lovely piece of simple engineering and design. But of course I move music onto the device with my mac version of iTunes, which truly seems to become more stupid and irritating with every iteration. Now there's no way of seeing two playlists at a time, so comparing your collection with what's on the device is out. Stupid. But these are small issues. Apple still make solid products, for the most part, and I haven't given up yet, but I am no fanboi, when their strategy tax gets too costly there's no loyalty left to lose with me, and i will happily switch. I agree fully with the correspondent who pointed out that hating apple is just as much a fad as loving them. I like the look of the new Nokias, I just wish I had similar confidence in Microsoft.

  22. TechW

    Wrong Question

    Speaking as one who has no brand loyalty, I'd say they asked the wrong question. I do quite a bit of research prior to most purchases and buy the "best" product out at that time. A better question would be what specific phone will you buy next, or, at least, "What OS will be on your next phone?".

    1. Don Jefe
      Happy

      Re: Wrong Survey not Wrong Question

      That would have been a different survey. This survey was a gauge of handset brand loyalty. It makes for a more definitive survey if you keep it narrow. If it is too broad you get screwy answers like an iPhone with Android, which tells the people who commissioned the survey exactly zero about branding, which is what they are concerned with.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Wrong Question

      Agree it was the wrong question, for me I've no idea what my next phone (smart or otherwise) will be, but then I'm ~6 months into a 24 month contract, so won't be bothering to look seriously at phones before then, hence I would probably have responded "don't know"...

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