Apple has an 89-percent retention rate, according to a survey conducted by UBS Research. The research firm polled 515 smartphone owners asking which phones they owned and their next likely smartphone purchase. While the sample size is very small, it does give us a view into broader trends in the smartphone market.
In general, retention rates appear to be falling for most of the OEMs. Relatively, Apple’s retention rates have held up incredibly well even as its market share has risen. Interestingly, when we look at all consumers who are considering changing handset OEM provider, Apple remains a significant net beneficiary. Alongside Apple, only Samsung and HTC also appear as net beneficiaries (more users won than users lost). Interestingly, of our respondents who are current Apple subscribers, only 6% indicated that they intended to move to a different OEM, with 4% saying they were undecided. This suggests that the retention rate for Apple could end up being as high as 93%. [UBS Research]
RIM has seen its retention rate drop from 62 percent to 33 percent over past 18 months, when UBS conducted a similar survey in March 2010. In comparison to Apple, Android (ecosystem-wide) has a retention of 55 percent and HTC has a retention rate of about 39 percent. Samsung has a retention rate of 28 percent. Nokia, which had an implied retention rate of 42 percent, has seen it drop to 24 percent. Ouch!