Study: Apple Users Adopt New Devices Faster Than Samsung Users


Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its smartphone archrival, Samsung (SSNLF.PK), are both unveiling at least one new smartphone model this year. Multiple media outlets have reported rumors that Apple may release two larger-screen iPhone models this year. Although most industry watchers expect the California-based company to launch its next-generation iPhones in the fall, at least one analyst has predicted that Apple may release a new iPhone model in July, reports StreetInsider. Meanwhile, Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S5 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month, and the device is scheduled to become available in the U.S. on April 11.

In preparation for the upcoming smartphone launches from the two biggest players in the mobile market, online ad network company Chitika recently released a study that compares the initial adoption rates for devices that were previously released by each company. Chitika compared the adoption rate for Apple’s iPhone 5 in the nine weeks following its release on September 21, 2012, to the adoption rate for Samsung’s Galaxy S4 in the nine weeks following its release on April 26, 2013.

The adoption rate for each device was determined by looking at each device’s share of the total amount of Web traffic generated by the manufacturer’s smartphone users. As seen in the graph above, Apple’s iPhone 5 users accounted for 11 percent of the total iPhone Web traffic generated by users nine weeks after its release. On the other hand, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 users only accounted for 6 percent of the total Samsung smartphone Web traffic nine weeks after its release.


Besides having an overall higher adoption rate, Chitika’s data also showed that Apple’s users were much quicker to adopt the latest model than Samsung users were. Approximately 9 percent of iPhone Web traffic was being generated by the iPhone 5 only five weeks after its release. In contrast, less than 2 percent of Samsung’s smartphone Web traffic was being generated by the Galaxy S4 five weeks after its release.

“Despite Apple having a larger existing North American install base at the time of release as compared to Samsung, adoption of the iPhone 5 outperformed the Galaxy S IV throughout the two months following each device’s individual market debuts,” wrote Chitika. The purpose of the study was to “provide a baseline for both companies based on past releases.” This explains why the Galaxy S4 was being compared to 2012’s iPhone 5 launch, instead of the simultaneous iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch last year.

As seen in the Web traffic graph above, Apple users’ higher levels of engagement with the company’s products is also reflected in the overall amount of North American Web traffic that is generated from iOS devices compared to Samsung’s Android-based devices. About 67 percent of Web traffic comes from iOS devices, while 33 percent comes from Android devices. On the other hand, Chitika’s study also found that Samsung has been steadily increasing its share of total Android Web traffic in North America.

Samsung’s share of the Android market has grown to 54 percent from the 48 percent share it held last year. While it remains to be seen if the upcoming smartphone launches will repeat the patterns revealed in this study, Chitika’s data suggests that Apple’s users will continue to adopt the latest models at a higher rate than Samsung’s users. 

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