Money Talks, So Should You

What your smartphone says about you

Androids vs. iPhones

Brian O'Connell
by Brian O'Connell, MainStreet contributor

The U.S. consumer smartphone market reached a historical milestone this year of 119 million users, according to ComScore.

For the record, Google Android is the most widely used smartphone, with a 52 percent market share, followed by Apple at 34 percent, in ComScore data for the three months ending Sept. 12.

While Android and Apple duke it out, another study tries to define who smartphone users are based on the phone they choose. The study, from iGR, an Austin, Texas, online and mobile marketing strategy firm, talked to 1,001 U.S. consumers in September just as Apple was rolling out its iPhone 5, to find out such things as:

  • What demographic variables, such as age, gender, income, educational level and marital status, differentiate the groups?
  • What service providers do Apple and Android consumers use?
  • How do they rate their service providers and why?

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What both sides looked for from their smartphone experience and their providers was markedly different.

Apple users were much more likely to judge their phones based on the quality of the audio and data network and how fast the network operated. Android customers were more focused on “business” aspects, including the quality of customer service, cost of service and “device selection.” Also:

  • Apple users are more likely to be female and married.
  • Apple users have higher incomes and are more highly educated. iGR says more Apple consumers have incomes above $50,000 and a college degree.
  • Apple users display more brand loyalty, with more Android users saying they were “undecided” about which smartphone they might buy next.
  • But Android users were more likely to buy a smartphone in the near future.

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"Beyond some basic differences, such as service providers and mobile phone brands, other differences became apparent when we analyzed these groups' responses to our survey," says Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR. "These groups not only have distinct demographic profiles, they also display different trends in their recent and planned purchases, the other computing devices that they use, their use of cellular data services, their desired improvements to their cellular data service and their use of Wi-Fi on their smartphone."

 

Brian O’Connell has 15 years of experience covering business news and trends, particularly in the financial, health care and career management sectors. He has written 14 books and appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, C-Span, Bloomberg, CBS Radio and other media outlets and in such publications as The Wall Street Journal and The Street.com. He is a former Wall Street bond trader.