Apple has been holding relatively steady in U.S. smartphone market share this year, even as Samsung eats everyone else's pie of the pie to lead in growth, according to the latest Digital Consumer Portrait from InsightExpress. More than 1300 U.S. smartphone owners were surveyed in early October. But while iPhone at 39% share and Samsung models at 36% share are almost on par in U.S. reach, the activities occurring on these two manufacturers' handsets are quite distinct. Device brand and OS still matter considerably when it comes to basics of mobile marketing and commerce.
iPhone still dominates the field in actual depth of interactive use. In the all-important mobile shopping category, 35% of iPhone users say they are purchasing products and services on their phones at least daily, which is much less common on Samsung devices (20%). This holds true for shopping-related behaviors such as scanning a barcode (36% of iPhoners vs. 22% of Samsung owners). One area of parity between the two brands is music downloading, performed about equally on both.
When it comes to social networking, 83% of Apple owners are engaged compared to 74% of Samsung owners. For taking and sharing picture, 54% of iPhoners participate in the activity vs.38% of Samsung owners.
While the arrival of iOS 7 met with mixed responses by some consumers earlier this fall, the radically revised OS appears to have won over most iPhone owners. InsightExpress found that 79% users expected to buy another iPhone in the future after living with iOS 7. Stil, those 21% who were either neutral or unlikely to buy another iPhone will be easy picking for Samsung. Among the disenchanted iPhone owners, 64% said Samsung would be their next likely smartphone.
Of course, like Android owners, Samsung customers represent a range of model types and price points that likely embraces more casual smartphone data users than iPhone owners. I certainly know many Galaxy III/4 and Note owners who treat their smartphones like portable offices and are every bit as much the data hounds as iPhone users. But on average iPhones remain most appealing to consumers who are looking to drink in content at every turn and seem most comfortable using their devices for the broadest range of functions.