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Apple turnover – iPhones coming off contract

Nearly three quarters of a million Australian iPhone users’ contracts will expire in the next six months. Where will they go?

Roy Morgan Research says 727,000 Apple iPhone users’ mobile phone contracts will expire within the next six months in Australia. This represents 17.7% of the Australian iPhone user base, a much higher figure than for non-iPhone mobile phone users, only 10.9% of which have contracts expiring in the next six months. The data is based on a survey of nearly 10,000 phone users.

The bad news for Apple is that of iPhone users with expiring contracts, over one fifth (21.3%) say they are likely to switch service provider compared to only 13.9% for other mobile phone users. The data also reveals that these iPhone users are nearly twice as likely to be dissatisfied (15.9%) with their current provider compared to other mobile phone users (8.6%).

The data is consistent with other international data recently published in iTWire which shows that iPhone users’ loyalty in Europe and North America is declining. Roy Morgan’s Andrew Braun says that with the release of the Apple iPhone 5 in September, “mobile phone service providers are paying close attention to iPhone users with expiring contracts. Our research shows that just over one fifth of these individuals are likely to switch service provider.

“The major service providers need to consider what consumers look for when switching providers in order to retain them. If we consider customer satisfaction as a driver of the decision to renew or switch, our research indicates iPhone users with expiring contracts are much more likely to be dissatisfied with their current provider than other mobile phone users.

“iPhone users with contracts expiring within the next six months are more than twice as likely as other mobile phone users to switch to a provider offering a free or discounted phone, while 24% would switch providers for better network coverage. But only 3% would do so for unlimited access to specific websites such as Facebook.

“As mobile phone users reach the end of their contract, it’s critical for marketers to gain a thorough understanding of their customers’ satisfaction and their considerations for renewing or switching service provider.”


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.