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Switching to Android tough for iOS users because they have so much content

by Phil Hornshaw

A new survey of iOS users finds that on average, people who own Apple’s devices have purchased and downloaded about $100 worth of content for those devices between music, movies, apps and more.

Owning all that stuff that only works on Apple’s devices makes it difficult for people using iPhones or iPads to switch to other devices and systems, according to a story from Apple Insider. Here’s a quote detailing the survey:

“With a current installed base of about 225 million iOS-powered units, Apple customers have invested about $22 billion in content, cumulatively, for those devices, analyst Chris Whitmore with Deutsche Bank said in a note to investors on Monday. He sees the install base growing to more than 300 million units by the end of calendar year 2012, with sales more than $30 billion by the end of next year.”

Whitmore sees the high amount of content users purchase as helping to engender a high degree of customer loyalty among Apple users. Combine that with Apple’s high satisfaction rate with customer service and the difficulty of switching to other devices and moving your information to new device, and you’ve got customers who don’t often jump ship.

This “stickiness,” as Apple Insider refers to it, is only going to increase in Whitmore’s view as Apple rolls out iOS 5 in the fall and brings a new iPhone to market around that time. Apple just announced that the iTunes App Store has surpassed 15 billion downloads, which it did just six months after reaching 10 billion downloads. It previously took the App Store two whole years to reach the 10 billion milestone, so it stands to reason that app downloads are only going to continue to increase.

Whitmore was also the analyst who not long ago speculated that Apple would bring out two new iPhones when it announces the next version of the product sometime this fall. In that analysis, he said he expected Apple to roll out a cheaper unlocked iPhone that would help to capitalize on the prepaid cellular phone market that’s pretty robust in places such as Europe.

That idea, that Apple is bringing a cheaper iPhone out along with its more standard iPhone 5, at first seemed a little bit baseless and without evidence, but has since gained some traction thanks to corroborating rumors. That analysis was a little more guess-and-check than this one: Deutsche Bank’s figures suggest Apple is doing a pretty solid job of pushing content distribution to its devices, and that’s netting a whole lot of money and return customers. Regardless of just how many iPhones come out this fall, Whitmore is probably right that iOS 5 is going to push up Apple’s value in the stock market.