iPhone Users Are the Most Loyal Out of All Smartphone Users

A recent survey by German research firm Gfk noted that Apple iPhone users are the most loyal compared to other smartphone brands. According to Reuters:

“Loyalty with a handset is a lot more complicated these days in that people buy into experiences at the high-end level,” Ryan Garner, the lead analyst on the survey, told Reuters.

“If a phone doesn’t do what it says it will do or what the owner hopes it will do, the maker will lose loyalty.”

The survey found that just 25 percent of smartphone owners planned to stay loyal to the operating system running their phone, with loyalty highest among Apple users at 59 percent, and lowest for Microsoft’s phone software, at 21 percent.

Of users of Research in Motion’s BlackBerrys, 35 percent said they would stay loyal. The figure was 28 percent for users of phones running Google’s Android software, and 24 percent for users of Nokia Symbian phones.

So we have Apple leading the pack with a 59% loyalty rate, followed by RIM (35%), Android (28%), Nokia (24%), and filling out the basement, Microsoft at 21% (although Windows Phone 7 is relatively new).

How can this research be interpreted? People could be loyal to iPhones because they are relatively easy to use compared to the competition, offer a full fledged App Store, and software updates can be easily applied. Think of these three factors and apply them to Blackberrys, Android devices, Nokia’s Symbian devices, and phones from Microsoft–can the same be said?

POLL TIME: If you currently own an iPhone, what was your previous smartphone?

[Reuters via Gfk]