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3 Out Of 10 iPhone Buyers In The Last Three Months Are Android Defectors

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About 30 percent of iPhone buyers in Apple's fourth quarter defected from Android, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a call with investors on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

It was the largest count of Android defectors since Apple started measuring the metric about three years ago. The figure represents people who went from Android smartphones to iPhones, with no first time buyers tossed in to fatten the number, according to Cook. 

"It's a huge number and we're very proud of it," Cook said of the 30 percent.

Apple's fourth quarter capped off another record year for the company.

"Fiscal 2015 was Apple's most successful year ever, with revenue growing 28% to nearly $234 billion," said Cook. "This continued success is the result of our commitment to making the best, most innovative products on earth, and it's a testament to the tremendous execution by our teams."

And while the number of Android defectors may be an impressive figure, there's still more converts to be guided to Apple's latest quartet of handsets. Those are holdout Apple customers still using legacy hardware.

Though Apple set a new record in selling 48 million iPhones during its fourth quarter, roughly two-thirds of its customers have yet to migrate to hardware released in the last year or so. That'd be the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus and 6s Plus.

But as announced during the introduction of the refreshed iPhones in September, Apple has a plan to pull the holdovers ahead. That plan is Apple's upgrade program, which is essentially an interest free loan that consumers pay off in installments to get the AppleCare+ extended warranty and a new iPhone each year. 

Piper Jaffray is anticipating that 75 percent of U.S. consumers of iPhones will become annual upgraders before 2018 comes to a close, said Gene Munster, managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray.

"We expect such a high percentage of annual upgraders because the majority of carrier programs today build in an annual upgrade option that makes sense for the majority of consumers to utilize," said Munster. "We believe the impact of the narrowing upgrade window could provide an average annual tailwind of 10% to US iPhone units over the next 3 years through CY18."

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