A new report released today by Strategy Analytics shows that loyalty to the iPhone has fallen for the first time since 2007, most noticeably in Western Europe.
The report, titled iPhone Owner Loyalty Declines: Is Apple Losing its Innovation Edge?, found that 75% of iPhone owners in Western Europe this year say they are likely to buy their next smartphone from Apple. This may seem high (and it is), but that number is down from 88% of iPhone owners in 2011. There was also a slight decline in the percentage of U.S. iPhone users who say their next smartphone will be from Apple, down to 88% from 93% in 2011.
"There is no doubt that Apple is continuing its success in retaining existing user base while attracting new customers," said Paul Brown, director at Strategy Analytics' User Experience Practice. "However, negative press prompted by a perceived lack of recent innovation by Apple has meant we are starting to see some growth in the number of previously highly loyal consumers who are now reconsidering whether or not they will purchase a new iPhone for their next device."
This report comes just as Apple is reorganizing its upper management in the wake of the Apple Maps app debacle. Also, though initial shipments for the new iPad Mini and new (4th generation) iPad have sold out, Amazon is claiming to have seen sales of its Kindle Fire HD tablets surge in the wake of Apple's announcement. Amazon is even running an ad comparing the Kindle to the iPad Mini on its homepage, emphasizing the iPad Mini's relatively low resolution and high price.