FORTUNE — “We may have underestimated Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) progress in China.”
So begins a story in the
International Business Times
Friday reporting on the numbers in the first attached chart.
They come from an Upstream survey of 4,505 smartphone customers in five emerging markets in which respondents were asked what brand they hoped to buy next. Apple edged out Samsung 32% to 29% overall. The gap was considerably wider in China, where 42% said they wanted their next phone to be an iPhone.
How can this be? Apple’s share of smartphone sales in China last quarter, according to IDC, was a slim 7%.
As part of a study of customer loyalty, WDS researchers surveyed 3,000 smartphone customers in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. Fully 76% of iPhone owners said they were sticking with Apple. Samsung came in second at 58%. No other smartphone manufacturer managed to break 40%.
By contrast, Samsung was the favorite choice of “switchers.” Among customers who were switching smartphone brands or coming from a feature phone, 34% bought Samsungs vs. 24% Apple iPhones.
“This metric speaks a lot to the marketing might of Samsung,” said WDS’s Tim Deluca-Smith. “The company has been very successful in developing solid relationships with almost every mobile operator on the planet and then building devices to a variety of price-points. This exposes the Samsung portfolio to an enormous base of potential customers.”
That sounds like Samsung.
An earlier consumer retention study by Consumer Research Intelligence Partners found that among people who switched smartphone brands, Apple was able to take three times as many Samsung customers (33%) as Samsung was able to steal from Apple (11%)
One more data point. The Upsteam survey found that although nearly a third of customers in the developing world covet the iPhone, they download their apps and other content from Google (GOOG) Play (40%) or directly from their mobile operator (26%). Only 28% are currently using Apple’s App Store — although judging from Upstream’s litany of complaints, that could change:
Catering to all price points and payment methods is not exactly Apple’s forte.