The first of these reports came from media brand researcher Brand Keys, which indicated that Samsung and Amazon are now beginning to overhaul Apple for brand loyalty in both the smartphone and tablet markets.
The firm even spelled out in its 2013 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index how Apple’s brand loyalty is slipping, paying particularly close attention to Samsung’s increasing market share in the smartphone space.
“It is an enormous switch-over,” Robert Passikoff, president of the New York-based Brand Keys, told Mobile Marketer. “The more personal aspects beyond just connectivity are becoming the important emotional engagement factors and that, generally speaking, brands that cannot do that are not going to be at the top of the list.
“Apple has been at the top of the list for a long time but has kind of stalled in terms of this sense of personal innovation and Samsung seems to have taken that on for themselves."
It was a similar case in the tablet market albeit with different competitor for Apple, with Brand Keys reckoning that Amazon has now stolen a march on Tim Cook’s company, largely thanks to the Kindle Fire.
“Apple was very reactive in terms of having to come out with a smaller version [of the iPad] because Amazon had one [a tablet],” said Passikoff.
“People said ‘oh, the iPad is great, but it is the size of a magazine and I can’t put it in my coat pocket’.”
It was however left to a separate study to indicate that Apple may also be losing out in terms of device satisfaction.
On Device Research carried out a study of 93,825 U.S. mobile users between July of last year and January 2013 and discovered that Apple’s iPhone 5 only ranked as the fifth best smartphone, a result which led the iOS device trailing four Android-powered models.
Users were asked to rank their smartphone between 1 ( “very unsatisfied” ) and 10 (“very satisfied”), and while the iPhone 5 scored respectively (8.23), it was still leapfrogged by the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (8.26), the HTC Rebound 4G (8.32), the Motorola Droid Razr (8.5) and Motorola Atrix HD (8.57).
Announcing the results in London today, the researcher also highlighted that 4G smartphone owners are more likely to be satisfied with their device, and told TabTimes that the iPhone 5's relatively poor showing was down to the battery life, maps on iOS 6 and — more surprisingly — the size of the device, a sign perhaps of increasing demand for bigger smartphones.