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Counterpoint Research has released a new report detailing the current standing of iOS smartphones in South Korea for users within the under-30 age group. According to the firm’s survey conducted in the first half of 2023, 85% of the 1,000 respondents revealed buying Android as their first phone, but 53% of them are now on iOS.

Aside from this huge shift to iOS, the study also stresses the brand loyalty of iPhone users. As Counterpoint notes, 92% of the respondents who said they bought iPhones as their first phone still use iPhones at the present time. This indicates Apple’s effective brand loyalty efforts among its customers. And with a nation being dominated by local brands like Samsung, this is a huge success for Apple.

“According to the survey, in the <30 age group user base, Apple seems to have succeeded in solidifying the loyalty of existing iPhone users as well as switchers from Android phones,” explains Sujeong Lim, a research analyst at Counterpoint Research. “92% of users who owned an iPhone as their first-ever smartphone said they were still using the brand. Furthermore, about 76% of them said they were not willing to use Android phones in the future. The respondents cited dissatisfaction with Android phones’ ‘Design’ (52%) and ‘Performance’ (29%) as reasons.”

Meanwhile, the research states that the primary factor for the shift to iOS of South Koreans in the said age group could be the “expectations related to performance, particularly the camera.” If this is true, Apple could expect a bigger percentage of this shift in the future, especially after the release of iPhone 15 (and iPhone 16) models, which will reportedly have better camera systems compared to their predecessors. 

It also clarifies the reason behind Android’s high percentage among first-time buyers, saying their parents or individuals with “real purchasing power” influenced their decisions. This is an interesting point that will support the previous report by Gallup Korea Research Institute showing that older South Koreans prefer Samsung over Apple. 


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