Carriers reportedly push Samsung devices far more on customers than the iPhone

Imagine you want to purchase a new smartphone. You walk into your carrier’s store without having given much thought to exactly what you want because you’d rather just ask the good people at the store for a recommendation. According to new research by Kantar Worldpanel, if you’re in the US, the carrier is more likely to nudge you towards a Samsung smartphone as opposed to an iPhone or one from Nokia.

Kantar finds that 63 percent of all customers who purchased a smartphone through carriers in Q1 2014 were recommended a Samsung device by the people in the store, that’s over double the recommendation rate for iPhones and over ten times the rate for Nokia smartphone.

The research shows that 59 percent of all customers who were recommended a Samsung device went ahead and bought one whereas the others went with a different manufacturer within the Android ecosystem. Interestingly only six percent of customers who had been recommended a Samsung walked out with an iPhone.

By now you might be asking why are carriers doing this? Well for starters the iPhone already commands high subsidy costs for the carriers and they might not want it to become more popular than it already is, fearing that this might give Apple leverage to ask for stronger subsidies. The iPhone already has a fiercely loyal fanbase, as Kantar’s research shows that they are the ones doing the least amount of research pre-purchase and they are unlikely to be swayed by recommendations.

One might argue that some of Samsung’s high-end devices carry high subsidy costs for carriers as well, and while that is true, the company’s huge portfolio of devices certainly works in its favor.


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