Whenever articles are written that negatively portray Apple or its products, the running joke is that we should brace ourselves for Apple fanboys rushing in to defend the Cupertino company and its products. This is not a bad thing because it shows signs of customer loyalty which is always a good thing and is what most companies strive to achieve. However according to a recent Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index released by Brand Keys, it seems that Apple has fallen behind in consumer loyalty and have in fact been overtaken by their competitors – Samsung and interestingly Amazon.

According to the report, Samsung had beaten out Apple in the smartphone category, stealing first place with Apple in second, followed by LG in third with Nokia and Sony tied for fourth. Amazon on the other hand had beaten Apple in the tablet category, with Apple and Samsung tied for second place. However it is possible that consumers had chosen Amazon has their preferred brand because the company offers both regular Android tablets as well as e-readers, and since Brand Keys claims that they do not define which products go into which category, it is possible that there are still consumers out there who might be confusing tablets with e-readers.

When Venture Beat interviewed Brand Keys’ President, Robert Passikoff, he theorizes that why Apple might have fallen in consumer loyalty is because consumers are seeking higher degrees of innovation, and that Apple’s iPad mini was more of a reaction to smaller tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7 rather than an innovation. What do you guys make of this?

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