What’s Captifying The World: The Smartphone Battle Heats Up—Apple iPhone 14 Sees A Surge In Searches, With Operating Systems Driving Consumer Search Interest
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What’s Captifying The World: The Smartphone Battle Heats Up—Apple iPhone 14 Sees A Surge In Searches, With Operating Systems Driving Consumer Search Interest

The past month marked some of the most hotly anticipated next-gen tech launches of 2022, with consumers eagerly awaiting the arrival of Apple’s iPhone 14 and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4. 

Apple’s last-minute iPhone 14 announcement drives a surge in search interest

Captify analyzed billions of global searches to uncover which smartphone releases caught consumers attention and what mindsets & motivations are impacting consumer search behavior.

Captify’s data saw that:

  • Global searches for smartphones are twice as likely to be model-specific versus brand-specific (Aug 21-Feb 22 to Feb 22-Aug 22)
  • Despite the official date of Apple’s ‘Far out’ event being announced on August 24, search interest for the iPhone 14 models remained steady through the end of August
  • Interest for the iPhone 14 rose sharply in September with a whopping 361.5% WoW search uplift (comparing end of 1st week of September vs end of 2nd week of September)
  • Consumers were 25.4X more likely to search for iPhone 14 on the day of Apple’s launch event and 36.0X more likely the day after
  • Searches for Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 under-indexed on the day of Samsung’s Unpacked event (August 10)—rising to 1.5X on the day the smartphones went on sale (August 26)
  • Searches for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 rose by 36.0% WoW when comparing the week ahead of the Unpacked event to the week of the launch event

Those iPhone audiences are loyal

Competition among smartphone providers is fierce, with many brands looking to win over ‘fence-sitters’ who may be tempted to switch based on new features or unmissable offers. When looking at smartphone switchers specifically—25.3% of audiences searching around Samsung smartphones are likely to go on to search for iPhones, compared to just 14.6% of iPhone searchers being likely to go on and search for Samsung. This suggests that Apple has built a brand-loyal audience who are less likely to switch, despite the cost of smartphones and the fact consumers are tightening their purse strings with inflation and the impending recession.

Flip phones make a come back with Gen Z

The lower than expected search interest around the Flip 4 is surprising given the rising popularity of flip phones—for example, the ‘flip phone’ hashtag has garnered over 445.9 million views on TikTok with young adults and teens shunning minimalist, modern tech in favour of nostalgia tech—bringing back recycled, bold and customizable products, such as the Motorola Razrs of the 2000’s. 

Interestingly, neither Gen Z or Millennials rank as indexing audiences for Samsung’s new models. With aesthetics being a key focus for these audiences, the lower search interest may be due to the lack of drastic design differences between the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 and their predecessors—meaning consumers may not be tempted to make the upgrade. This sentiment is reflected in the overall lack of search interest around design features.

Privacy becomes prominent among audiences

Captify also analyzed key attributes to understand what is motivating consumers when investing in new smartphones:

  • For the iPhone 14, audiences are 90.6x more likely to search around ‘operating systems than any other attribute. Interestingly, the new iOS 16 involves new features such as the customizable lock screen and boosted security & privacy features, including ‘lockdown mode’ and the ability to unsend or edit iMessages. This huge search index reflects the growing demand from consumers around protecting their privacy
  • Although Samsung announced at its Unpacked event that it’s going more green with its new Galaxy products—through using recyclable/reduced packaging and eco-conscious materials like repurposed fishing nets—brand affiliation with sustainability doesn’t increase YoY
  • Despite the impending recession and inflation, ‘price’ under-indexes as an attribute for both iPhone 14 and the Flip and Fold 4, suggesting that it’s not an important consideration for audiences. Captify also saw search triggers around these models being ‘in-market’, ‘replacing tech’ and ‘active shoppers’

The power of search signals

With inflation and the recession looming, brands need to keep a pulse on changes in consumer search behaviour—allowing them to predict future scenarios, capitalize on new audiences, and react to opportunities for conquesting competitors. 

Get in touch to request a demo of Sense, Captify’s award-winning platform, designed for brands to discover critical consumer behaviours and insights, pinpoint the intent and size of audiences and seamlessly activate programmatically across all channels—all powered by real-time intent.

*Data sourced from Captify’s global network from 06/01/21-09/08/22

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