iPhone buyers

Previous smartphone owners buy Apple iPhones much more than first-time owners... Almost 50 percent of previous owners buy an iPhone, while under one-third of first-time owners buy an iPhone.
— All Things D
Source: Allthingsd.com

Source: Allthingsd.com

While most of the people commenting on the above study claim that the low 30% attraction iPhone garners from new smartphone buyers is a cause for concern for Apple globally, I think it is in the contrary the 'only' 50% attraction it garners from the existing iPhone users, that is the bigger concern for Apple. Remember globally there are a lot of variables that affect smartphone buyers, like the cost of the iPhone itself which is much more expensive than in US, as carriers in many other countries do not subsidize the iPhone cost over contracts. Rather the iPhone costs mostly north of $700 and this is a huge investment fovr mainly developing countries where a  motorcycle costs equivalent amount of money! Also the cost of ownership of the iPhone is much higher than other phones as mobile data plans are far too expensive in other countries. So a new smartphone buyer outside US not choosing an iPhone is understandable and hopefully with the rumored 'lower cost' iPhone[C], more of the global market gets attracted to the iPhone.

Among existing iPhone users, 94% expect to buy another iPhone (6% expect to switch to Android)
— Aug 1, 2011, tech.fortune.cnn.com

However Apple prides itself on the superior user experience and most of the consumer surveys have ranked Apple the highest in satisfaction ratings (even in S. Korea!) for many years continuously so far. So one in two iPhone user choosing a smartphone other than the iPhone should be a bigger concern to Apple. Also what is surprising about this 50% of the existing iPhone users wanting to move away from the iPhone is that, a couple of years back similar numbers were totally different. Like this survey that said more than 90% of the iPhone users prefer to buy the iPhone again. Agreed this was two years back and was US specific, but still the difference in these figures (50% v/s 94%) is staggering. What has changed, the global smartphone user v/s the US smartphone user and/or the two years from the previous report. Either way customer retention is what Apple used to care and will care, even slightly more than attracting newer customers.