Everytime someone posts an article on the socioeconomic differences between iPhone and Android users the commentary section of the publication goes mad. It remembers the „good old times“ when the OS wars were fought. Apple vs Windows.
This time it’s different.
Although the spread of the iPhone OS is now far behind Android (and the gap is growing), every now and then there are analytic surverys on topics like „Here’s Why Developers Keep Favoring Apple Over Android„. The bottom line on all of these breakdowns is: iPhone users spend more money than Android customers. That’s why developers prefer iOS for initial publishing of their apps. And when the apps get enough revenue, they port it to Android. Mostly the port is a free version of the iOS app, because Android users don’t want to pay anything.
Well, slate.com just re-published a post that originally appeared in Business Insider: Apple vs Android: Developers see a socioeconomic divide. It shows maps that illustrate the claim based on individual twitter posts. Very interesting data (that is – you are right – doubted massively in the commentary section).
The charts paint a picture that parallels the socioeconomic composition of the (American) society.
Can the socioeconomic stunt be backed up by personal experience?
Let’s see. Our observations may not be representative, but show a clear trend. When riding on the suburban trains around Munich there is a clear distribution of use in the outskirts (normal outskirts, not the rich subs!): The more you get to the periphery, the more Android (SAMSUNG) phones are used in the trains. Also interesting: using the subway in university areas (Schwabing) also shows a bigger amount of Android phones. Younger people seem to prefer the Android flavor. Interestingly lots of (younger) people who use Android smartphones DON’T use them for listening music. They are using the phones for SMS, What’s App or primitive games like „Tetris“. Listening to music is often done with … yes, an iPod.
Sitting in hot cafes in Schwabing or the city on the contrary shows a bigger amount of (latest) iPhones.
This changes dramatically, when you are in areas with businesses. Here the iOS devices are overproportional.
Enter tablets: here the situtation is completely different. In fact: in Munich you don’t see any Android tablets in the wild (if you don’t count the numerous kindles). People seem to use iPads in all variations, and no SAMSUNGS at all.
The first question of Android users in our circle of aquaintances when you show them a new app on the iPhone is: „How much“. And funny enough, even 99 cts are too much for most of those guys to download it. This has often nothing to do with their economic situation. They don’t want to pay anything on principle. This is totally different in „iOS circles“. Here the automatic reaction is open the appstore and downloading the recommended app.
Yes, there are lots of Android users, that could easily afford iPhones. But they just don’t like the brand and their fanboys. But this is another story.
So these unrepresentative observations seem to back up the claims made in the various articles on the „socioeconomic divide“.