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As the queues build, Piper Jaffray reports 73% of iPhone 4S buyers are upgraders

16GB model the most popular
As the queues build, Piper Jaffray reports 73% of iPhone 4S buyers are upgraders

Apple had fostered a reputation for inspiring loyalty within its consumer base long before iPhone hit the market in 2007.

Stats published by Piper Jaffray regarding 4S take up, however, appears to illustrate iPhone owners are no more willing to switch brands than their Mac counterparts.

According to the firm's numbers based on a survey of 550 people queuing for handsets on launch day in the US  73 percent of those buying an iPhone 4S were upgrading from one of its predecessors.

Loyalty costs?

Allowing for a margin as error, that's roughly equal to the 77 percent the firm polled when iPhone 4 rolled out in 2010, and up on the 56 percent and 38 percent taken during 2009 and 2008 handset launches respectively.

"We believe Apple has built brand loyalty not enjoyed by the Android platform," said analyst Gene Munster, citing previous claims that iPhone owners are less likely to switch platforms.

However, while Apple might like to claim it boasts the most loyal customer base of all smartphone platforms, said figures also suggest iPhone 4S isn't growing iOS's userbase, but rather re-selling to existing customers.

That's something recent comScore numbers pointing to Android's higher growth rate would support.

Of the handsets on offer, Piper Jaffray also reported the 16GB model was proving the most popular, sapping up 49 percent of sales. 32 percent have opted for the 32GB release, with 19 percent picking up the most expensive 64GB SKU.

[source: Apple Insider]