Apple vs. Android: The Battle for Brand Loyalty in Telecommunications

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

I’ve had the same iPhone 6 since 2015. It’s been through countless drops, two broken screen protectors, and a battery change.

I’ve known for a while that it’s time for a new phone, but I've been trying to hold out for as long as possible, mainly because I don’t want to spend $800 on the iPhone XR. I recently learned that Google released a new phone that’s only $400. While it’s extremely tempting, I'm an Apple loyalist. So, am I going to end up spending the money on a new iPhone? Probably. But, if a product genuinely works better and has more advanced features, why wouldn’t a consumer choose that one when it’s time to renew a contract?

Most customers choose their team and stick with it. To prove my point, between January 2016 and December 2017, Android customer retention was between 89% and 91%, compared to Apple, which was between 85% and 88%.

I also wondered where allegiances lied in the Stratifyd office. To find out, I took to Slack. I created a poll in our general channel asking what kind of phone everyone had: Apple, Android, or Google. I checked in on the poll a few days later, and I was surprised that Apple dominated in our tech-obsessed office.

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What makes consumers so brand loyal when it comes to phones? Is it a seamless customer experience? Or is it a preference of a particular user interface (UI) design?

Customer Preferences With UX and UI

If you own all things Apple (guilty), the integration functionality makes it easy to remain loyal. Syncing data across multiple devices allows users to effortlessly pick up where they left off.

Our Marketing Operations Manager, Brittany Reynolds, is an Apple customer who converted to only using Apple products within a couple years’ time.

“When I started my first job after college, I was getting tired of my Galaxy,” Reynolds said. “I got a MacBook for my office computer and literally two days later, bought an iPhone. A year later, I got my Apple Watch, and now I'm pretty sure I'll be a customer for life.”

While Apple fans rave about the simplistic design features, members of team Android demand more customization.

Stratifyd’s CTO, Kevin O’Dell, has a Google Pixel 3 and has been an Android fan from the beginning. Its open source project allows users to create and implement code to tailor the operating system to fit their specific wants and needs.

One of our Sales Engineers, Vivian Wang, recently switched from an iPhone 6 Plus to a Google Pixel 3. Her main reasons to switch were price and UX in terms of app integration.

“One day I saw that the Google Pixel 3 was on sale and got it for like $500,” Wang said. “I also use G Suite instead of Apple Mail and iCloud, so I love that my new phone is integrated with Gmail and Google Drive.”

O’Dell shared some interesting insights about consumers and brand loyalty when it comes to the world of telecommunications.

“Phones have become ingrained into everyone’s lives,” O’Dell said. “It’s a learning curve when it comes to different operating systems. When a customer’s normal workflow gets disrupted, it’s disruptive to their entire life.”

After absorbing all this information (it took a few days to process), I realized that O’Dell was right. Not only do I just prefer Apple’s design features over Android’s, but my existence is deeply rooted into its products, both at work and at home. Plus, have you ever tried to use the phone of someone on the other side of the aisle? I feel lost just trying to take a picture. So, I don’t think I'll be changing my allegiance any time soon.

CX in the World of Telecommunications

Each company has its own way of incorporating CX into its branding.

Remember Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign? Not only did it showcase the new camera, it featured video footage from real customers to shift the focus on them and show that the company prioritizes their experiences.

Apple’s CX is difficult to match, and from the in-store experience to inviting product design, the tech brand has set and maintained the industry standard for phones.

It can be difficult to measure CX for Android users, because customer feedback is spread between multiple brands like Samsung, Google, and LG. While this gives users more devices to choose from, each product varies in its features and usability.

While it looks like consumers have decided which brand to pledge their loyalty to, CX is still an important factor for telecom companies in terms of customer acquisition and retention.

We know all about the connection between customer feedback helping to increase satisfaction, acquisition, and retention. Our platform ingests, analyzes, and visualizes omni-channel customer feedback, delivering unknown insights in real time. To learn more about how Stratifyd can help telecom companies dial into customer analytics, click here.