Samsung, meanwhile, pulled one of its flagship phones from shelves as part of a global recall, and has yet to offer a new version of the product. About three-quarters of respondents told Elementum that they would lose trust in an electronics brand during a recall, though most said it would recover over time.
Despite these challenges, more consumers are worried that stores will sell out of toys than smartphones or wearable technologies, the study showed.
Part of the reason is "fierce" loyalty. A separate Reuters study found that 91 percent of current Samsung users would likely purchase another Samsung smartphone, and 92 percent of current users would probably buy another Samsung product in general. Similarly, 92 percent of iPhone users would likely buy another iPhone and 89 percent would likely buy another Apple product.
That's because those (and other) electronics brands leverage what Kirk calls the highest form of loyalty, "cult" loyalty, where the brand reflects the users' personal identity. That's compared to most brands, which rely on the lowest forms of loyalty, according to Kirk, either by having the lowest prices or keeping customers in contracts that are hard to escape.
"Cult loyalty involves connecting to all the other people that have made this brand choice. Apple does that. Harley-Davidson, it's like a lifestyle. There's what they call the 'Jeep wave.' It's more social in nature, and that makes it increasingly harder to undo," Kirk said.
Apple sold an iPhone on eBay every five seconds on Cyber Monday and an iPhone 7 every 30 seconds on Black Friday. The Samsung recall also did not hurt U.S. consumers' willingness to buy Samsung phones, according to the November Reuters poll.
"What we are seeing is that the customers that would have bought the phone are waiting. They are loyal to the Android phone and Samsung," Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly told reporters in November. "There's a segment of those customers who really like that 'phablet' product, and there isn't one that satisfies them right now."
That said, there's no telling how many more phones or headphones would be sold had they been on the shelves.