Bloomberg and BGR are reporting that Android users are leaving the platform in “droves” and trade-ins to Gazelle are up 200% all due to the iPhone 6. Both websites are claiming the iPhone 6 larger screens are the deciding factor behind Android users abandoning their Samsungs, HTCs and other devices. This very well could be true. It was bound to happen. Anytime anything new comes along there are people who want to try the new shiny thing to see what it’s like.
“I had talked to friends about my loyalty to Samsung and, before that, I was a BlackBerry loyalist,” Sharyn Funamura, 42, a lawyer in Berkeley, California, said in an interview after telling friends on Facebook that she’d pre-ordered an iPhone 6. When Apple “finally addressed a lot of the reasons why I hadn’t bought an iPhone yet, then I just said, ‘OK, I bought your phone.’”
An iPhone user myself, I left Android just over a year ago because I needed a technology change in my life (yet again). I had previously been an iPhone user when I found Android and the larger screen of the Samsung Captivate was what got me hooked. So the data that’s being presented here is probably accurate and there are Android users leaving for iOS. But I also think the story is being presented as if Apple will be gaining back the market from Android with this release of its iPhone 6, and that is far from the truth.
Android simply has the bulk of the market. You can’t deny that. And, with Android One debuting in emerging markets, the hold is only getting stronger. While I do think that Apple can gain back or convert some users from Android, I don’t think new features and bigger phones are going to give them the lead some are hoping for. If Apple is ever going to catch up to Android in terms of sheer market share they’re going to have to offer a more affordable phone. The iPhone 5c was supposed to be that phone, but that experiment didn’t go as planned and it is now discontinued. I’m not so sure Apple is ready or willing to get into lower cost devices or emerging markets. All these converts are great for Apple but the bottom line is, Android still owns the market and maybe Apple is OK with that.
Correction: The iPhone 5c has not been discontinued but it has been discounted to free on contract, thanks Holland Rhodes for pointing that out.