Which Millennials Upgrade More — iPhone Or Android Users?

When it comes to being the first to get the latest smartphone on the market, millennials are probably the first in line to get their hands on the hottest device of the season.

Data from a new survey from show that 70 percent of millennials cash in on early upgrades to get a new smartphone. That same study shows that nearly 60 percent have owned at least three smartphones in the past five years.

The survey was based on results from more than 1,000 adult millennials (18-34 years old) in the U.S. between May 1-May 11. Of the surveyees, 51 percent were iPhone owners and 46 percent were Android users.

“Among millennials, ‘being first’ is a badge of honor, which is driving early upgrade adoption,” said Keir McConomy, founder of “The shelf life of a smartphone is really shortening for that reason, which will drive interest in recycling devices or trading them in.”

So what else did the survey say about millennials’ smartphone behavior?

  • 56 percent have owned at least three smartphones in the past five years, and 12 percent have owned five smartphones in five years. Millennial women (59 percent) were 7 percent more likely to have owned at least three smartphones over the last five years than millennial men (52 percent).
  • Most millennials (84 percent) said they stay up-to-date when early upgrade options are available. Millennial women (19 percent) were 6 percent more likely to be unaware of early upgrade options available to them, compared to 13 percent of millennial men.
  • Millennial Android owners (69 percent) and iPhone owners (70 percent) were virtually identical in their decision to make use of their wireless provider’s early upgrade options.
  • 47 percent said they wanted to be first adopters and chose the latest technology.

What motivated those millennials to upgrade? They simply like having the latest technology, the respondents said. The second most popular reason was to get money or credit for trading in a smartphone. Other responses included the option to finance the smartphone, the ability to operate out of contract, and the ability to switch carriers.

When it came to Apple versus Android owners, having the “first adopter status” was more important to iPhone owners (54 percent)  than it was to Android owners (40 percent). Millennial men (50 percent) were 5 percent more likely to get a device just to have it first versus millennial women (45 percent).



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