For the first time since Apple debuted the iPhone in 2007, there are now less owners who say they will definitely / probably purchase the next version, according to a recent Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Lab Report.
Titled “iPhone Owner Loyalty Declines: Is Apple Losing its Innovation Edge?,” the white-paper reveals that only 75 percent of iPhone owners in Western Europe are now “likely to buy their next phone from Apple.”
The figure represents a 13 percent decline (down from 88 percent) from 2011 when Strategy Analytics fielded iPhone owners to see how loyal they were to the Apple brand.
The metrics firm also reports that repeat purchase intentions in the United States have also shown signs of regression – 88 percent in 2012, down from 93 percent in 2011.
Paul Brown, director at Strategy Analytics’ User Experience Practice, says “negative press prompted by a perceived lack of recent innovation by Apple has meant we are starting to see some growth in the number of previously highly loyal consumers who are now reconsidering whether or not they will purchase a new iPhone for their next device.”
Nonetheless, Brown believes “There is no doubt that Apple is continuing its success in retaining existing user base while attracting new customers.”
Fellow analyst Taryn Tulay chimes in, noting that “Respondents who say they probably will or definitely will not buy their next phone from Apple is low.”
“However,” he says, “it is the shift in the number of those who are unsure whether they will remain with the same brand for their next phone that Apple should be concerned about.”
Apple’s chief executive officer, Tim Cook
, recently fired two key figures within the company’s executive teams, one of which was directly responsible
for some of the negative press mentioned by Strategy Analytics.
Cook attributed their roles to existing Apple executives who have proven their skill and determination over the years.