Apple’s upcoming lineup of lower-priced phones may be the biggest threat to the company’s Android-based rivals.
Research shows that about 15 to 20 percent of iPhone sales each quarter is made up of consumers switching from Android to iOS. That’s a healthy and steady market for Apple’s flagship devices.
But, interestingly, it’s not Apple’s flashiest or most advanced iPhones that are luring Android users away. According to a new yearlong study on 2,000 U.S. consumers by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, exactly the opposite might be true.
As you might expect, a higher percentage of the people who bought an iPhone X upgraded from a previous iOS device.
That might be due to a couple of reasons. For one, there’s a lot more choice in the Android ecosystem. That includes a wide range of budget-priced or mid-range devices. Similarly, since switching to an entirely new OS and hardware will feel like an upgrade anyway, Android switchers might be less swayed by top-tier features.
On the other hand, CIRP’s research indicates that Android switchers are actually more likely to buy a Plus-model iPhone than previous iOS device owners. The difference is 40 percent to 30 percent.
That’s probably because many premium or mid-range Android devices skew toward the larger end of the spectrum. Quite a few flagships feature displays that are larger than 5 inches. In Apple’s lineup, you have to buy a Plus-model device or the $999 iPhone X to get a display larger than that.
Of course, Apple seems to know this and is making some changes to its 2018 lineup to capitalize on that fact.
Apple is largely expected to debut three iPhones this year. In addition to two OLED models — including one with a massive 6.5-inch display — Apple is also rumored to debut a new handset that seems tailor-made to attract Android switchers.
According to these rumors, that device is expected to sport iPhone X-style features but at a reduced price point. Exact estimates vary, but renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks the device could start between $550 and $600 at the low end.
It’ll feature a 6.1-inch LCD display, making it larger than previous mid-range iPhones. That might make it attractive to the droves of buyers who prefer larger displays, or who are switching from a larger Android device.
And Apple seems to know that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone could be a standout hit. Reportedly, it’s placed more orders for LCD displays than OLED display this year. That hints at how Apple expects the lineup to do, and that demand for the mid-range iPhone has been backed up by market analysts.