More Americans (unsurprisingly) switch to the iPhone than switch to Samsung’s Galaxys

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 20 Aug 2013

New data gathered for Fortune by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners shows that 20% of iPhone buyers switched from an Android phone, versus 7% of previous iPhone owners switching to a Samsung phone. First question: What’s the sample size? 500 people. Second, which geographic territory does this cover? The USA. Third, when was the data gathered? Every 90 days between July 2012 and June 2013.

With all that information above, should the findings come as a surprise? They really shouldn’t. Nearly every smartphone sold in America is subsidized, so while those in the know understand that the latest and greatest iPhone 5 costs upwards of $750 after taxes, most folks in the States think it’s just $199. Given the choice between a $199 iPhone 5 or a $199 Galaxy S4, of course you’re going to go with the iPhone because it’s the safe choice.

The guys from MacRumors have also noticed these important data points:

Customers who purchased iPhones tended to be younger than those who purchased Samsung phones. 69% of those that bought an iPhone were between the ages of 18 and 34 compared to only 64% of Samsung buyers. Apple buyers had a slightly higher income, with 38% reporting an income over $75,000 compared to 29% of Samsung buyers. 48% of Apple buyers also had a college degree, compared to 32% of Samsung buyers.

Shifting our attention to Europe and Asia, Android is “winning” there because those are the parts of the world where phones are bough separately from the SIM card. Plenty of decent Android phones exist in the 300 Euro price bracket. Zero iPhones exist in the 300 Euro price bracket. This might change later this year with the introduction of the iPhone 5C, and that’s what Samsung should really be scared about.

What is “winning” anyway? Is it shipping more boxes or is it making more money? If you care about volume, Samsung is the best. If you care about money, Apple is the best. At the end of the day, you can pick just about any data point to show that your favorite company is crushing their competitors, but please don’t do that.