Lust for something different grows inside an overwhelming percentage of Blackberry users’ hearts, apparently: Nearly 40 percent of them would switch to the iPhone, and a whopping third of them would switch to the Android operating system, given the chance.
And, it appears that Blackberry might be in trouble in general in terms of staying current with smartphone trends, lagging far behind in apps uptake.
A new smartphone brand loyalty survey from Crowd Science revealed the significant fickleness of Blackberry customers, while also showing that other brands have no such issues. In fact, Android and iPhone users love their experience, with a full 90 percent of each planning on sticking to their platforms when it comes to the end of their contracts.
Asked specifically if they’d swap their present phone for Google’s new Android-based Nexus One, 32 percent of Blackberry users said “yes,” compared with just 9 percent of iPhone users. Incidentally, this figure zoomed to 60 percent for users of smartphones not made by Blackberry or Apple.
“These results show that the restlessness of Blackberry users with their current brand hasn’t just been driven by the allure of iPhone,” said John Martin, CEO of Crowd Science. “Rather, Blackberry as a brand just isn’t garnering the loyalty seen with other mobile operating systems.”
As for applications, the survey found that users of all types of smartphones had downloaded more free applications than paid ones during the preceding seven days, with iPhone users significantly more likely to pay for apps. Android users lead in free apps, while Blackbery users fall far behind on both fronts.
Both Android users and iPhone users were found much more likely than Blackberry users to use their phones only for personal use (32 percent, 28 percent and 16 percent, respectively). On the other hand, only 7 percent of Blackberry users use their phone only for business, with that category of user minimal with the iPhone (1 percent) and non-existent in the Android base.
A significant event affecting Crowd Science’s research – the debut of Nexus One on January 5 – occurred midway through the Dec. 24. 2009 to Jan. 21, 2010 study period. Rather than being a disruptive factor, however, the Crowd Scientists were able to measure how the launch affected the attitudes of respondents. For example, awareness of the Android operating system jumped six points — to 66 percent from 60 percent. Moving from awareness to familiarity, however, results were stable throughout the research period — at about 10 percent for all smartphone users excluding Android owners.
Awareness of the Google Nexus One phone itself following launch was found to be 91 percent among iPhone users, 75 percent among Blackberry users and 73 percent among users of other smartphones.
The study also found that, unsurprisingly, users of the less-expensive slew of Android phones skew younger and less affluent than iPhone and Blackberry users.
For the survey, the Crowd Scientists tapped 1,140 respondents who were randomly recruited via the Crowd Science Sample Beta program from Web sites serving more than 20 million unique visitors. The vast majority of respondents (44 percent) used a regular cell phone, not a smartphone. iPhone users represented 17 percent of the respondents, followed by Blackberry users (15 percent), Nokia (10 percent), Windows Mobile (4 percent), Android (3 percent) and Palm (2 percent).