The majority of U.S. smartphone users are on either the Apple iOS or the Android platform. What defines each user base and how do these two groups of consumers differ? To answer this question, iGR fielded a Web-based survey of 1,001 U.S. consumers during the second week of September 2012, which coincided with Apple's announcement of the iPhone 5.
"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," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "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 WiFi on their smartphone."
For example, Apple and Android users identified different factors that they found important when rating their service providers. Apple users were more likely to rate their service provider according to the quality of the voice or data network and the speed of the data network. On the other hand, Android users were more likely to say that customer service, cost of service, and device selection/choice were most important.
In addition, iGR's new study found that:
Apple iOS users are somewhat more likely than Android users to be female and married.
Consumers with an income level above $50,000 or a bachelor's or graduate degree are more likely to be Apple iOS users than Android users.
93 percent of Apple iOS users have either AT&T or Verizon Wireless for their service provider.
In the last 60 days (and also in the last 12 months) Android users were more likely than Apple users to have bought a new smartphone. On the other hand, Apple users are more likely than Android users to plan to buy a new smartphone in the next 30 days (and in the next 12 months.) Note that the survey occurred during the week of the announcement of the new iPhone 5, and it appears that many Apple users were waiting to purchase a new iPhone.
Apple users tend to have more brand loyalty. They were much more likely than Android users to state that they will 'definitely only consider' the same phone. Android users were much more likely than Apple users to state that they are 'undecided' about the type of phone they will purchase next.
Apple iOS smartphone users are significantly more likely than Android users to own a tablet.
iGR's new market research report, "Android and Apple Smartphone Consumers: How do they differ?" provides details of these two groups of smartphone consumers, including demographic variables and their perceptions of their wireless service.