Brand loyalty often gets attributed to Apple fanatics who will wait in line for the latest device, but Samsung’s recent struggles revealed a set of consumers similarly set in their ways. According to analysts, Samsung users opted not to switch over to Apple devices or other Android handsets during the holiday season, even in the wake of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall.
Data from mobile analytics firm Flurry released earlier this week announced Apple dominated the holiday season with the most new device activations, but hidden within the data was another illuminating bit of information: Samsung actually saw more devices activated in 2016 than in 2015.
The jump could in part be attributed to the fact one of the Korean manufacturer’s flagship phones, the Galaxy Note 7, was recalled by the millions after reports of the devices exploding.
But the figures also mean users who had to ditch their Galaxy Note 7 were making the switch to other Samsung devices rather than jumping to iPhone.
Most of those who bought or wanted to buy a Note 7 opted for a different high-end Galaxy phone,” Stephen Baker, a hardware analyst at the NPD Group, told the Wall Street Journal. “Samsung was able to fend off other Android competition, and Apple, too, thanks to Apple’s own lack of a wowing product this year.”
Samsung has been in the process of removing the Galaxy Note 7 from circulation, discontinuing and recalling the device and pushing out software updates to brick the handsets that have yet to be returned.
According to tech research firm Gartner, Samsung suffered its worst smartphone sales drop in its history following the recall, dropping 14.2 percent in year over year sales during the third quarter of 2016.
Apple has been a similarly difficult position with its sales of its iPhone sliding in the last few quarters, resulting in the company’s first annual revenue decline since 2001 when it reported earnings in October.
Apple is expected to report record-breaking sales figures during when it reports its first quarter earnings in 2017, primarily on the strength of its holiday sales and the popularity of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.