New iPhone is drawing Samsung fans over to Apple

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New iPhone is drawing Samsung fans over to Apple

Apple’s newest iPhones are fueling a surge in trade-ins of Android-based smartphones, threatening to loosen Samsung Electronics’ grip on the large-screen smartphone segment as users switch allegiances.

When Apple’s main products, featuring bigger displays and faster chips, go on sale, they may be best remembered as the generation of iPhones that won over consumers from rival smartphones. Trade-ins of Samsung phones with smartphone reseller Gazelle tripled last week and about a quarter of potential iPhone 6 buyers are new to Apple’s ecosystem, according to RBC.

“I had talked to friends about my loyalty to Samsung and, before that, I was a BlackBerry loyalist,” Sharyn Funamura, 42, a lawyer in Berkeley, California, said in an interview after telling friends on Facebook that she’d pre-ordered an iPhone 6. When Apple “finally addressed a lot of the reasons why I hadn’t bought an iPhone yet, then I just said, ‘OK, I bought your phone.’”

CEO Tim Cook is counting on customers like Funamura to break open the premium large-screen smartphone market. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen.

Funamura, who is replacing her Samsung Galaxy S4 that has a five-inch screen, said she was attracted to the new iPhone because it makes reading emails and surfing the Internet easier.

The new iPhones will be available in 115 countries by year’s end, according to the Cupertino, California-based company.

Buzz has been building since the new iPhones were unveiled on Sept. 9 at an event near Apple’s headquarters. A third of Android users polled by Gazelle said they’re likely to upgrade to the iPhone 6, with 39 percent citing the bigger screen as the main reason.

“We’re seeing a higher propensity to switch,” Sullivan said. “The combination of the screen size and the functionality” indicates that “this is going to be a strong and compelling product for Android users to switch,” said Chris Sullivan, Gazelle’s CEO.

Samsung, which sells a variety of Galaxy devices running on Google Inc.’s Android operating system, has already seen slowing sales.

RBC Capital Markets polled 6,000 consumers and found that “an impressive 26 percent of respondents who intend to purchase an iPhone are new” to Apple’s ecosystem, with the majority coming from Android, Amit Daryanani, an analyst at RBC, wrote in a note to investors.

Samsung’s global market share slid to 25 percent in the second quarter from 32 percent a year earlier.

“This is going to be a nightmare for Samsung,” Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies, said of the larger-screen iPhones.


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