Demographics by Smartphone Type

Smartphone – When it comes to smartphones, the world is a two class society. Well actually, when we look at the data provided by IDC it is more on its way to a one class society. Android here, Android there, Android everywhere. So much for variety makes life better.

As we can see, despite the great effort by Apple to make this an interesting race, every new iPhone release is no more than a little dimple in the Android market share growth. With Android approaching 90% sometime in 2015, we can surely speak of the Android monopoly. Remind me again, who is Microsoft?

Apple iOS will soon be a niche player just like all the other mobile operating systems. The consequence will be that app developers and all the mobile monetization will be focused on Android, which will cement its position even more than ever before. Right?

Not so fast.

There is also another statistic available that looks at the actual web traffic of the various devices by operating system. The following chart comes from NetMarketShare, where you can get online information on the internet traffic of mobile devices. Its definition of a mobile device is based on its ability to run a web browser and open a webpage. The following chart shows the internet traffic report of mobile devices.

There are also other sources, but the message is pretty much the same. While Android device sales blow Apple pretty much out of the water, they just managed for the first time to beat Apple users in using their device on the internet. With Android phones outselling iPhones 8 to 1, Apple users seem to ‘out-use’ their Android friends dramatically. Of course, the current 8:1 ratio is not representative of the total amount of smartphones in use, but nevertheless there are many more Android smartphones out there than iPhones.

So what, Android users have things to do other than playing on their smartphones, so who cares? Well, for one the providers sell bandwidth and typically the more you use the more you pay. So they do care.

One step further is the fact that iPhone users are more likely to buy on the internet than their Android counterparts. This was demonstrated by an infographic published by Statista.

The graph shows that iPhone users have a higher average order rate and a higher conversion rate than their Android or Windows phone friends. The Statista chart goes one step further, it shows that the same is true for iPad versus other tablet users and also for Mac versus other PC users. Some of these differences are pretty significant.

 If I had to look at my advertising budget and decide where to spend those advertising dollars, this might be something I would consider very strongly. This means that the value and significance of an OS platform goes beyond usage and may direct further development.

In the pre-mobile era market researchers spend endless hours on market demographics to identify the age, gender, income level, etc. of their potential customers to identify opportunities. As it seems we can make this much easier by asking the question – what phone do you have in your pocket? – Norbert Hildebrand