Don Kellogg, Senior Manager, Research and Insights/Telecom Practice, The Nielsen Company
Whether it‘s checking email on the go, connecting with friends through social networks or using turn-by-turn navigation, the capabilities of smartphones are convincing more and more consumers to make the leap from a simple mobile phone to a more sophisticated device. As of Q1 ‘10, Nielsen data shows that 23% of mobile consumers now have a smartphone, up from just 16% in Q2 ‘09.
Vying for their share of the smartphone market are two of the tech industry’s fiercest competitors: Apple, with its iconic iPhone, and Google, with its fast-growing Android operating system.
Between Q4 ’09 and Q1 ’10, Android and iPhone’s share of the smartphone market grew by 2% each. At the same time, smartphone leader Blackberry lost 2% share to fall to 35% of all smartphones while Microsoft’s Windows Mobile OS also lost 2% to fall to 19%.
Although Android and iPhone users both skew male (Android users show a 54/46 gender split compared to iPhone’s 55/45), there are some striking differences. Android users tend to be slightly younger than their iPhone peers- 55% of Android users are under the age of 34 -- while just 47% of iPhone users fall within the same demographic. As is usually the case, age is also a prime determinant of income and education, with Android users slightly less wealthy and less educated.
Perhaps what sets iPhone and Android apart from the rest of the field of smartphones is operating system loyalty. 80% of iPhone users want their next device to run iPhone OS while 70% of Android users want another Android device. This is in stark comparison to other major smartphone players: only 47% of Blackberry users want another Blackberry while only 34% of Windows Mobile users want another Windows Mobile device.
Among Android and iPhone users who would like to switch operating systems, the rate at which Android users would like to try iPhone is twice as high as that of iPhone users who would try Android. Given that iPhone penetration is three times that of Android, more iPhone consumers are willing to try Android.
Finally, usage profiles for Android and iPhone are more like each other than the rest of the smartphone market. With a broader selection of titles available to them, predictably iPhone customers are more likely to have downloaded a game or played online, but Android users appear to be using their phones for a wide range of activities as well. Android users were more likely to engage in file-transfer activities like downloading ringtones, pictures, wallpaper and uploads.