Flagship releases from large smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and Apple often lure users to switch brands; however, there is the question of whether customers actually favor devices from specific brands or whether they are just interested in the latest new gadget.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the most recently released flagship smartphone and the mobile trade-in site CompareMyMobile has gathered data on the device, which indicates that a third of customers traded in an iPhone for the Galaxy S5. The website says it saw a 210 percent rise in customers trading in an iPhone 4s for the Galaxy S5, while there was a 184 percent rise in customers trading in an iPhone 5s for the Galaxy S5. Though this data comes from just one company, it can be indicative of peak interest in flagship devices when they first release.
In the middle of 2013, where there were no major Samsung or Apple launches taking place, a report from CIRP indicated that 20 percent of new Apple customers where switching from a Samsung device, while 7 percent of new Samsung customers where switching from Apple devices. During this time the Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 were the current flagships on the market. Conversely, during 2013, there were several reports of consumers switching from an iPhone to the Galaxy S4, including from Business Insider’s Paul Colgan and CNET’s Danny Sullivan.
Figures also suggest that overall sales are affected by which device was most recently released. During the quarter ending in September 2013, Samsung dominated smartphone sales in the U.S. However, in October the newly released iPhone 5s beat out the Samsung Galaxy S4 in sales. Similar to the Samsung Galaxy S5 now, consumers were especially interested in the iPhone 5s when it was new on the market.
Overall, consumers tend to favor one brand over the other. Reports in March indicated that 76 percent of Apple users said they would remain loyal to the brand versus the 34 percent that switched to Samsung. CompareMyMobile’s data shows that the Samsung Galaxy S3 was the second device most traded in for a Galaxy S5, which means most of the company’s customers remained loyal to Samsung when upgrading their devices in early 2014.