During Apple’s most recent earnings call, CEO Tim Cook couldn’t stop talking about how many people are dropping Android to switch to the iPhone.
Now, a recent survey from Asian investment banking firm CLSA provides more evidence that consumers in China, the largest smartphone market in the world, are switching from Android to the iPhone at a high rate.
This is a good sign for Apple, considering China is now one of its largest markets. In April, iPhone sales in China outsold those in the United States for the first time.
And, if Apple is convincing more of China’s hundreds of millions of smartphone users to ditch Android for the iPhone, those numbers are bound to rocket even higher.
That would be great news for Apple’s investors too. Analysts have been concerned that investors will bail on Apple because the iPhone has been doing so well that it won’t have any more room to grow.
This is what Wall Street usually refers to as the “comps” problem — if the iPhone is performing so well now, it will be hard for Apple to show its growth in the future.
And it explains why Apple is so concerned with getting consumers to switch to the iPhone from Android — it will give Apple an opportunity to show investors that the iPhone still has room to grow.
Here are a few key points from CLSA’s survey that lead the firm to believe there’s strong demand for the iPhone from Android switchers.
- 53% of survey respondents that own an iPhone switched from Android.
- Only 4% of Android phone owners in the survey switched from the iPhone to Android.
- 32% of Android users in the survey plan that plan to buy a new phone in the next 12 months will switch to the iPhone.
- 54% of all survey respondents that plan to buy a new phone in the next 12 months will choose the iPhone.
To get these results, CLSA interviewed 854 middle-class consumers in China, which include 594 in tier 1-2 cities and 260 in tier 3-5 cities. The average age of these respondents was 35.
Here are two charts that break down CLSA’s findings. You’ll notice that a significant chunk of Android phone owners plan to switch to the iPhone, with Samsung coming in as a close second.
Of all the people CLSA surveyed, only 36% currently own an iPhone. But the firm is convinced that number is going to explode over the next 12 months, since 54% of phone shoppers plan to buy an iPhone in the next year and most of Apple’s current customers will continue to upgrade to newer iPhone models.
It’s worth noting that in terms of sheer market share, Android will probably always outpace the iPhone. That’s because there are tons of different companies making Android-based smartphones around the world, and Google gives away the source code for Android to phone makers for free. But if you look at which brands sell the most phones, you’ll notice it’s really a two-horse race between Apple and Samsung.