A new SellCell survey suggests that Apple may be losing ground with smartphone consumers. The organization polled more than 5,000 Android users in the United States, and found that a mere 18.3 percent of those users would even consider buying an iPhone 13 when the phone makes its debut.
That number has dropped significantly over the course of the past year. A prior SellCell survey found that 33.1 percent of Android users would consider making the switch to the then-upcoming iPhone 12. This year’s figure is down 14.8 percent, which means that nearly half of Apple’s potential converts have lost interest in the iPhone as a mobile handset option.
31.9 percent of the respondents identified the iPhone’s lack of a fingerprint scanner as the biggest reason for their disinterest. In-display fingerprint sensors are now a standard feature in many Android devices, and while Apple has patented multiple in-display fingerprint recognition systems, the company is yet to deploy any of that technology in a commercial device. It has also run into mask-based performance issues with its Face ID facial recognition system, which is still the only biometric authentication option available in its flagship line of smartphones.
The SellCell results suggest that Apple’s hesitancy with Touch ID is starting to affect its standing with the public. 12.1 percent of the respondents believe that Android phones now have better hardware, and the iPhone’s limited customizability features and a potentially intrusive iCloud photo scanning feature were similar deal breakers with consumers. Respondents could only choose one answer in the SellCell survey, so it is possible that all of those problems are a factor for more people than are reflected in the percentages.
Those who would purchase an iPhone 13 cited longer software support and the broader Apple ecosystem as the primary advantages of the Apple device. The large format iPhone 13 Max Pro was the most popular device, while the mini model was far and away the least popular.
While the numbers seem alarming, Apple may not be too concerned since its devices remain popular with its existing customer base. SellCell has previously reported that 44 percent of current iPhone owners are already planning to upgrade to the iPhone 13.
Apple has placed more traditional fingerprint sensors in its iPhone SE line. Earlier rumors had suggested that in-display Touch ID could make its debut with the iPhone 13, though recent reports indicate that Apple has abandoned those plans for the time being.