Apple’s iPhone users in Korea were found to be less loyal to the smartphone than its rival’s followers, according to a report released Wednesday.
According to a consumer report by DIGIECO or KT Economics and Management Research Institute, 53 percent of 416 survey respondents using an iPhone said they would not continue using Apple’s smartphone line.
The result is based on the survey conducted on 3,763 smartphone users aged 13 to 69.
For Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S smartphone line, 35 percent of its users said they would want to use products of different brands down the road.
The survey results counter the widely accepted industry belief that Apple’s customers usually show higher loyalty to the brand than other smartphone users.
“It should not be misjudged, however, that the market share in the domestic market for the iPhone will likely shrink and that of Samsung will increase,” according to the research institute’s report.
The institute said while Samsung already dominates the local mobile phone market, the Silicon Valley-based rival still has much leeway to increase its share.
Among the Galaxy users surveyed, 351 or 16.3 percent said they would later use Apple’s iPhone, whereas 144 or 34.6 percent of the iPhone users would use the Galaxy smartphone line.
Fervent iPhone fans are those in their 20s and 30s living in Seoul, its surrounding areas and other major cities, while Galaxy has a wide scope of patrons of all ages across the nation.
About a quarter of the interviewees picked design as the most important factor in choosing a smartphone, followed by brand (20 percent) and type of operating system (19.5 percent).
Meanwhile, Samsung and Apple will reportedly release their new smartphone lines, Galaxy Note 3 and iPhone 5S, respectively, in September, which will likely further heat up the already cutthroat competition in the domestic and global markets.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)