How to Tell an Android User from an iOS User

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The great Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures (no, we’re not kissing up to raise money) wrote a clever post on his blog lately about the differences in popular apps between Android and iOS users. The variances on the two platforms led him to contemplate how different their users must be. Then he put out his Bat Signal, asking for others to share data on the subject. Well Fred, here you go.

We’ve surveyed over 139,000 US smart-phone users about their preferred OS. 64,432 of these people use Android and 50,328 use iOS. The remainder use Windows, Blackberry, or something else. Respondents also answered various combinations of over 28,000 survey questions in our database. When our machines cross-tabulated all of those possible combinations, a number of correlations surfaced that most distinguish an Android user from an iOS user. Here is just a little of what we know: 

DEMOGRAPHICS

There is a clear relationship between smartphone operating systems and age (as Fred presumed). Consumers aged 18-24 are 50% more likely to prefer Android.  And, while Android leads in every age category but those over age 55, it gets much closer in the 35-54 range. Women break fairly evenly on the question, while men are 15% more likely to choose Android over iOS. Black and Hispanic consumers both overwhelmingly prefer Android; the numbers are evenly split among Whites.

The biggest demographic indicator is household income; Android dominates among the least affluent consumers but the higher up the income spectrum you move, the more likely someone is to prefer iOS. People making over $150,000 in annual income are 66% more likely to choose iOS. This is the most common proxy characteristic we saw in the other correlations uncovered.

We should point out that there are NOT major distinctions between the two groups in terms of marital status (something that Fred Wilson wondered). Android users are slightly (<5%) less likely to be married but nothing noteworthy. Neither is there a strong correlation with parental status.

Demographics, however, tell only part of the story. We found a number of other correlations that Fred and others might find interesting (if completely trite).

LIFESTYLE AND MEDIA

Tall people love iOS. In fact, people who say they are much taller than most people their age and gender are a full 28% more likely to choose iOS over Android.

iOS users are tech savvy and charitable. They’re more than 5X more likely than Android users to have made charitable donations online ten times or more.

When asked about their favorite animated comedy, 31% of iOS users prefer the Simpsons compared to only 22% of Android users. 20% of iOS users prefer South Park, compared to just 5% of Android users. The tables turn with Family Guy. 35% of Android users prefer the Seth McFarlane comedy versus just 19% of iOS users.

Android users have bigger health concerns. In fact, 40% of Android users say someone in their immediate family suffers from heart disease, compared to just 25% of iOS users.

iOS users love their celebrity news. They’re almost twice as likely as Android users to read “paparazzi” blogs on a daily basis.

When asked about their favorite type of music, iOS users are more likely to pick Alternative music, Indie Rock and Pop/Top 40. Android users are more likely to prefer Country, Classic Rock, and Metal.

This one surprised us a little, only because most of the geeks in our office have iPhones. When crossed with their job type, we found that people in Professional/Managerial roles were more likely to choose iOS. People in Computer/Technical roles were more likely to prefer Android.

iOS users are 40% more likely to watch ABC the most among the major broadcast networks and 32% more likely to watch NBC.  Android users are slightly more likely to watch CBS or Fox but 20% less likely to watch any network TV.

When it comes to their favorite movie genres, iOS users are 20% more likely to choose Drama and 11% more likely to choose Comedy films. Android users are 17% more likely to prefer Action and 21% more likely to prefer Horror films.

Finally, when visiting their favorite coffee shop, Android users are 14% more likely to order a regular coffee. iOS users are 28% more likely to order a latte, cappuccino, or other espresso blend.

There’s a lot more where that came from, Fred. But these were some of our favorites.

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