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Android owners upgrade more frequently than iPhone users

The commonly held belief is that Apple is the dominant player in the US and according to this belief, the iPhone should sell in greater numbers than all Android phones combined. That’s not exactly the case though.

CIRP believes that the usage patterns of the two groups may explain why the iPhone doesn’t outsell Android phones in the US. According to the research firm, iPhone users hold onto their phones for longer than Android users, leading them to upgrade to a new model less frequently compared to Android users.

Only 10 percent of iPhone owners surveyed by CIRP bought a new iPhone model less than a year after their previous purchase. In contrast, 23 percent of buyers who bought an Android phone upgraded from their previous Android phone within a year.

61 percent of iOS users used their previous model for more than two years, whereas only 43 percent of Android users kept the same phone for that duration.

The general perception is that iOS users are wealthier, so ideally, they are the ones who should be upgrading more frequently. CIRP has a few theories as to why that isn’t the case.

On average, Android phones are not as expensive as iPhones, so an Android user might not be reluctant to part with their old phone. CIRP will shed light on installment payment plans in another report, but another thing we’d like to point out is that there are far more deals on Android phones than iPhones, which again makes it more convenient for buyers to get a new Android phone.

CIRP also notes that unlike iPhones which are upgraded annually, most top Android phone makers release multiple models throughout the year, so there are more occasions when an Android user might be tempted to get a new model.

Another factor, which is not mentioned in the report, could be that iPhones generally have better support than Android, which could be why iPhone users don’t feel compelled to buy a new model very often. Also, since iPhones have faster chips than Android handsets, they have more headroom for future apps.

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