by Georgina Swan

Aussies prefer BlackBerry over iPhone, Android

Mar 29, 2011
Computers and PeripheralsMobileSmall and Medium Business

A worldwide survey into mobile platforms has confirmed what many CIOs and IT managers already knew: Apple’s iPhone leads the way when it comes to consumer loyalty, but it faces stiff competition from Android.

And, in a surprise trend, RIM’s BlackBerry has the most loyal users in Australia.

lt;bgt;92%lt;/bgt; of Australian iPhone users are likely to stay with their existing operating system for next phone purchase

The TNS Mobile Life survey, which looked at consumer trends in 43 countries, found the iPhone’s content and rich-media delivery were responsible for its place at top. Device brand plays a key role, but handset manufacturers must understand the importance of content brands in buying decisions, according to the custom research agency.

“Providing desirable content is a clear opportunity to capture market share as consumers move increasingly towards smartphones and services like social networking, online video, mobile gaming and mobile blogging,” said TNS director of technology research, Marcus Pritchard.

The findings:

  • Although iPhone users lead Android as the most loyal to their operating system globally, Australian users prefer BlackBerry.
  • Handset manufacturers are losing out as content brands grow rapidly in importance
  • Tablets have already generated substantial momentum, with intended ownership in Australia at 26 per cent

Some 93 per cent of BlackBerry, 92 per cent of Apple and 90 per cent of Android mobile users in Australia are likely to stay with that operating system, compared to 70 per cent and 72 per cent for Windows and Symbian respectively.

smartphone customer loyalty Operating system customer loyalty – percentage likely to stay with stay with their existing OS for next phone purchase

The survey, which was conducted in January 2011, asked 34,000 consumers about their mobile phones and habits. Australians are heavier social networkers than most countries but lag behind ‘developed Asia’, the USA and UK in consumption of social video, navigation services and streaming or live TV content.

52% of mobile users in Australia own a smartphone amp;#8212; up from 24 per cent in 2010

Interest remains high in video content, however, with 44 per cent of Australians surveyed saying they were interested in streaming TV/movies and watching video on YouTube or similar consumer-generated content sites.

As the market matures, rich media content and apps will be the battle ground for manufacturers in Australia, Pritchard said.

lt;bgt;15%lt;/bgt; of Australian mobile users watch YouTube or other consumer generated video content via their mobile phone

“Partnerships will gain increased importance as manufacturers look to maintain market share for mobiles as tablets rapidly expand on to the scene,” he said.

Tablets won’t cannibalise handset sales

TNS predicts tablet devices will not affect mobile phones, with consumers typically viewing the tablet as a replacement for a PC rather than a mobile.

Interest is already high for tablets; according to the survey, the intended ownership rate in Australia is 26 per cent, compared to 13 per cent globally and 31 per cent in ‘developed Asia’, 20 per cent in the US and 17 per cent in the UK.