Palm, Nokia Smartphone Users Most Likely to Switch: Survey

Unless you're already an iPhone or Android smartphone owner, chances are you're looking to become one.

That's the word from Finnish mobile analytics and market research firm Zokem after it surveyed more than 1,500 U.S. smartphone owners to discern just how loyal they are to their most important mobile device.

Not surprisingly, Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) checked in atop the rankings of platform loyalty with net promoter score (NPS) of 73 percent, well ahead of second-place Android at 40 percent and Research In Motion's BlackBerry at 33 percent. Symbian recorded an NPS of 24 percent while Windows Mobile and Palm came in at 10 percent, respectively.

"The figures suggest clearly that iPhone is the top performing platform in terms of user loyalty, and therefore, it is an increasingly likely pick for a repurchase," Hannu Verkasalo, Zokem CEO, said in the report. "Android is a good number two in the U.S. market, even though the loyalty score is not nearly as high as it is for iPhones, but it seems that people who are using Android are also very likely to buy an Android-based device as their next smartphone too."

A similar survey conducted in November by German market research firm GfK found that while iPhone and Android owners are most loyal to their devices, the majority of smartphone users are only as faithful as their options. And because mobile phone makers are churning out dozens of new offerings every year, fragmentation is all but a foregone conclusion.

Zokem's data shows that while 89 percent of Android smartphone owners and 85 percent of iPhone fans said they plan to stick with their current platform, it's a much different story for their top competitors.

Only 15 percent of Palm Pre users said they plan to re-up with Palm when they buy their next smartphone. Of this group, 36 percent said they're eying the iPhone and 28 percent are leaning toward an Android device.

It's even worse among Symbian S60 customers-- only 8 percent said they plan to stick to their guns. They too are favoring either an iPhone (33 percent) or Android (25 percent) for their next purchase.

RIM fared much better with 66 percent vowing to buy another BlackBerry when the time comes to upgrade. Forty-four percent of Windows Mobile users said they plan to stay the course.

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia, Windows Mobile