Brace yourselves, fanboys. The results of Brand Keys’ annual Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI) are in, and it would appear that Apple fans aren’t as faithful to the Cupertino clan as they have been in years past.
Instead, Samsung now generates the most consumer loyalty amongst smartphone users, while Amazon does the same for tablet buyers. Apple is now a respectable second in both categories, although it led both in last year’s survey. When it comes to laptops, Apple and Samsung customers were found to be equally loyal.
The shift can be seen as at least a little surprising, especially in the tablet market, where the iPad’s market share dwarfs that of the Kindle and Kindle Fire. As for smartphones, Samsung and its Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II have been neck and neck in sales with Apple’s line of iPhones as of late, so the Korean company’s rising popularity is to be expected. The shift has been reflected in the company\’s recent financial reports, where Samsung has taken off while Apple has struggled to shake the perception that it isn\’t innovating with new products anymore.
Coming in after Samsung and Apple in smartphone loyalty was LG, followed by a Nokia/Sony tie, then Motorola, HTC, and BlackBerry.
For tablets, Samsung and Apple tied for second after Amazon. Barnes & Noble hit fourth, then Acer/Lenovo/Toshiba in a tie, Sony/Google in a tie, and finally Asus.
And for laptops, Samsung and Apple held the lead, with Asus, Toshiba/Sony (tie), Acer/HP, Vizio/Lenovo, and the just-private Dell bringing up the rear.
This year’s CLEI surveyed about 39,000 consumers, gauging how they feel about 375 different brands in 54 separate categories. Industries ranging from airlines (US Airline won there, by the way) to cars (Ford and Hyundai tied) to diapers (Pampers) to sports (NFL) to vodka (Grey Goose) were examined, with Brand Keys claiming that its results can be generalized to the entire U.S. population with 95 percent certainty.
Other technology-related findings included the Amazon Kindle beating out the Barnes & Noble Nook for most loyal e-reader consumers, Samsung topping Sony and Vizio in the Flat Screen TV category, Call of Duty having the most loyal video game players, and Facebook finishing ahead of Twitter and YouTube among social networking sites.