Apple number one for global mobile brand loyalty

Apple is the brand with the most loyalty amongst its customers globally, at least in the mobile sector. A study by research company GfK has found that 84 per cent of iPhone owners are more likely to stay within the Apple ecosystem, and therefore stick with iOS.

Only 60 per cent of worldwide Android smartphone owners said that they would buy a phone sporting Google's operating system in future. While, 48 per cent of BlackBerry users stated that they would remain loyal to RIM.

The findings came after GfK interviewed around 4,500 people in Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, China, the US and Japan. And offers a different picture to a similar study on "churn rates" of smartphone manufacturers undertaken by Comscore.

Those previous figures, released in October, claimed that BlackBerry owners were the most loyal, with 69 per cent of them opting to purchase another device from RIM - then beating Apple with its 65.2 per cent. However, those statistics were specific to the UK.

Additionally, GfK's findings come after the Cupertino giant released the iPhone 4S, Comscore's before, so that may have something to do with the later results. And Comscore's figures were manufacturer rather than operating system specific.

The research firm believes that, regardless of the current findings, the winner of the smartphone war will be the brand that most listens to its customer base: "The scope for brands to lure customers from rivals has diminished and the richest rewards will go to those providers that can create the most harmonious user experience and develop this brand loyalty," it says.

Would you switch brands/operating system, even if you've bought a stack of brand-specific content and apps? Let us know in the comments below...