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iPhone users increasingly leaving Android for iOS, but it's not as bad as it was

Google still needs to address this problem, but it was certainly way worse years ago.

Published onMay 17, 2023

google pixel 7a vs iphone se 2022 back in hand
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
  • According to a new report, iPhone users increasingly choose to leave Android for an iPhone.
  • However, the percentage of folks abandoning the Android ship is still way lower than in 2016.
  • Google still needs to figure out how to stop Android users from abandoning the platform.

Every year, a certain number of people jump ship from one mobile platform to another. They either leave their Android phone behind and start using an iPhone or ditch the iPhone and join the Android side.

Research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) just published a new report on this (h/t Apple Insider). Unfortunately, the data shows a clear trend of people increasingly choosing to leave Android for an iPhone.

According to the data, 15% of iPhone buyers left Android over the past year (sourced from March 2022 to March 2023). That means that, of the millions of iPhones sold during that time period, 15% of those sales went to people who were leaving Android. Meanwhile, 83% of iPhone buyers came from an earlier iPhone, and 1% came from something else (feature phone, first phone, etc.). Note that the percentages don’t add up to 100% due to rounding.

While this is interesting, it’s not quite as interesting as the whole picture. Check out the chart below to see what I mean.

Choosing to leave Android for iPhone

When you line up all the data from the past eight years, you see some interesting trends. The most pressing concern right now is that the percentage of people leaving Android for iOS is increasing each year. In 2021, only 10% of iPhone buyers were leaving the Android world, with a jump to 11% in 2022 and then another jump to the 15% we’re at now. That is certainly not good.

However, on the flip side, things aren’t nearly as bad as they once were. In 2016, we saw the peak of this phenomenon, with a whopping 21% of people choosing to leave Android for an iPhone. That number steadily dropped until 2020, when it leveled out at 10%, the historic low.

Essentially, Google needs a gut check on this and to figure out why people are abandoning Android again. This data heavily suggests that people from 2016 to 2020 were sticking with Android more and more. But after 2020, things took a turn. Was it the pandemic? Is iMessage so alluring that it’s causing people to change their minds about their mobile OS of choice? Is it the appeal of Apple’s broader ecosystem? Whatever it is, Google needs to act fast.

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