4955656853 cfea509950 b 260x195 In the smartphone market, Apple users remain the most loyalA new report from research firm GfK shows that loyalty in the smartphone market is a hard thing to command for handset manufacturers with 56% of 2,653 people surveyed admitting they were keeping their options open as to which phone they would buy next.

As smartphone manufacturers scramble to innovate their handsets, offering the best high-resolution cameras, super clear displays and support for the next generation mobile networks, smartphone owners are leaving their options open, especially now that manufacturers are moving towards open-sourced operating systems like Google’s Android software, leaving a phones hardware as its key differentiator.

Only a quarter of people surveyed planeed to stay loyal to the operating system of their phone, although 59% of Apple users admitted they would be likley to stick to Apple smartphones in the future. Only 21% of Microsoft smartphone users would stay loyal to its operating system but this has only been available for little more than a month and is most likely representing results from Windows Mobile 6.x users.

BlackBerry users (35%) would stay loyal to handsets from RIM, only 28% of Android users likely to remain using Google’s OS and 24% for users of Symbian.

As the smartphone market booms, manufacturers are regularly refreshing their product lineups to reflect the very best hardware that is available to them at the time. With more and more vendors looking to Google’s Android operating system to power their devices, profit margins are lowering as competition increases and prices decreasing.

By keeping a year between its product iterations, Apple is ensuring it can release new products that consistently push the boundaries as to what is possible to include on a smartphone. This seems to be paying off for the Cupertino-based company, where nearly double the amount of Apple customers are staying loyal to their brand over companies like RIM and companies using Google’s Android software.