Fewer Android users switched to iOS last year, but it's still a problem

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(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) found that 13% of iPhone buyers switched from Android to iOS in 2023.
  • The number is a decrease from the prior year's figure, which saw 15% of iPhone buyers come from an Android phone. 
  • However, over a five-year period, iPhone buyers are coming from Android phones at a steady 11-15% clip. 

iPhones are dominating the mainstream market in North America, leaving even the best Android phones left out in the cold. In fact, in the second quarter of last year, iPhones represented 53% of U.S. smartphone shipments, according to Counterpoint Research. However, a new report from the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) says that fewer iPhone buyers were switching from an Android phone in 2023. 

The report concluded that Apple's dominance derives from convincing current iPhone users to buy another. While it does entice a consistent amount of Android users to switch to iOS each year, that number pales in comparison to iPhone upgrades. To that end, at least 85% of iPhone sales are made by users who already own an iPhone, according to the CIRP report. 

Meanwhile, CIRP found that 13% of iPhone buyers switched from an Android phone. That's two percent less than the 15% figure from 2022 but equal to or greater than the numbers from 2019-2021. Over the last five years, the percentage of iPhone buyers coming from an Android phone has fluctuated between 11% and 15%. 

The report's findings are both good and bad news for Android smartphone manufacturers. On the one hand, the rate of Android users jumping ship in favor of iOS isn't growing sharply each year. On the other, there is a steady number of Android users leaving the platform behind in favor of iOS each year. 

For what it's worth, Android is still the champion in the global smartphone market. Android powers nearly 70% of all smartphones worldwide, according to a report from Statcounter that spanned January 2023 to January 2024. No other operating system is even close, with iOS coming in at nearly 30% — less than half that of Android. 

But it's clear that Android is losing to iOS in key markets. In another report covering the same time period, Statcounter found that 61% of smartphone users in the U.S. run iOS.

While it certainly could be worse, Android OEMs will have to do something to stop the bleeding and hold onto valuable North American market share. 

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.

  • Climb14er
    As someone who has been on Android since the very beginning and moved one of my accounts to iOS exactly two years ago, I can say without any difficulty at all, that my experience on iOS has been completely phenomenal, even on a two year ‘old’ 13 Pro Max! My reception even in the remote parts of the Southwest is about as good as it gets and the battery life in an everyday usage puts whatever I obtained on any Android device to literal shame. I’m not here to bad mouth Android at all, just giving my thoughts about transitioning to iOS after a totally horrible Pixel 6 Pro experience, especially with its WEAK modem and poor battery life. Sure, if you sit right by a router all day using WiFi, positive usage is a no brainer. However, using cell phones as mobile devices is what counts and iOS gives me better reception and battery life over Android. The next Android phone I get, assuming will go in that direction, will definitely be a Samsung! One last point… Apple customer service is far better than Google’s. I also say this because I run Google for my emails and corporate account. Google has slipped big time over the years and when I need assistance, they’re tough to get a hold of. Use whatever phone you want and enjoy. Just sharing all of this because for years, I knocked Apple and iOS. For my money, and being on Verizon business for twenty four years with the same cell number thirty one years, iOS has come a long way, as has Android, but when I add it all up, iOS is a more seamless experience.
  • Mr. Lucky
    I wonder how they gather these statistics? My wife switched in the opposite direction last year, from Apple to Android, and she was never asked or required to disclose her previous device. Seems like the only ones who'd know are the device owner and the carrier.
    Hmm :unsure:
  • BijouVixen
    My husband has been trying to get me to convert to Apple even buying me one of their Apple watches as an " appetizer " for an Apple IPhone and all their other fancy iPads.

    Well I said " thank you but no thank you " and returned the watch
  • taynjack
    I've wanted to switch to Apple, but my need to be on Windows computers for work, combined with the better Android/Windows integration along with the cost to go to Apple has kept me on Android.
  • ebrandwein
    I guess I'm one of the odd balls who switched the other way. I went from an iPhone 13 to a Galaxy S23 Ultra and couldn't be happier with the move.
  • Golfdriver97
    Mr. Lucky said:
    I wonder how they gather these statistics? My wife switched in the opposite direction last year, from Apple to Android, and she was never asked or required to disclose her previous device. Seems like the only ones who'd know are the device owner and the carrier.
    Hmm :unsure:
    Food for thought....what about someone who started out as Android, bought an iPhone, and uses them both roughly equally? Is that counted as a flip?