“From Black Friday through Christmas Day, one of the big mysteries of the mobile commerce business played out again, for all to see: The fact that Apple users on iPhone and iPad accounted for five times what Google’s Android users did when it comes to online shopping,” Jim Edwards reports for Business Insider.

“That phenomenon is bizarre when you consider that the vast majority — as much as 80% in some surveys — of all smartphone users are Android owners,” Edwards reports. “Google’s mobile users outnumber Apple’s all over the place, but Apple users are the ones spending all the money. iOS users spent $93.94 per order, nearly twice that of Android users, who spent just $48.10.”

“What the heck is wrong with Android users?,” Edwards wonders. “We turned to Simon Khalaf, CEO of Flurry, one of the larger mobile ad companies, to see if he had seen the same phenom in his business. He had a surprising answer for us: Androids are simply dumbphone replacement devices, and treated as such, he says. Despite the features at their fingertips, Android people use their phones for calling, texting and playing Bejeweled. They ain’t shopping… ‘[The] mMain theory is that some Android devices are simply replacement of feature phones and not used as a smartphone, especially in the U.S. That big of a ratio is perplexing, but it is what it is. I don’t have any reason to doubt IBM’s data. Our data seems to be saying the same thing,’ [Khalaf says].”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s hardly a mystery. The customers, because they were acquired differently, are markedly different. As we explained way back in November 2012:

Android is pushed to users who are, in general:

a) confused about why they should be choosing an iPhone over an inferior knockoff and therefore might be less prone to understand/explore their devices’ capabilities or trust their devices with credit card info for shopping; and/or
b) enticed with “Buy One Get One Free,” “Buy One, Get Two or More Free,” or similar ($100 Gift Cards with Purchase) offers.

Neither type of customer is the cream of the crop when it comes to successful engagement or coveted demographics; closer to the bottom of the barrel than the top, in fact. Android can be widespread and still demographically inferior precisely because of the way in which and to whom Android devices are marketed. Unending BOGO promos attract a seemingly unending stream of cheapskate freetards just as inane, pointless TV commercials about robots or blasting holes in concrete walls attract meatheads and dullards, not exactly the best demographics unless you’re peddling muscle building powders or grease monkey overalls.

Google made a crucial mistake: They gave away Android to “partners” who pushed and continue to push the product into the hands of the exact opposite type of user that Google needs for Android to truly thrive. Hence, Android is a backwater of second-rate, or worse, app versions that are only downloaded when free or ad-supported – but the Android user is notoriously cheap, so the ads don’t sell for much because they don’t work very well. You’d have guessed that Google would have understood this, but you’d have guessed wrong. Google built a platform that depends heavily on advertising support, but sold it to the very type of customer who’s the least likely to patronize ads.

iOS users are the ones who buy apps, so developers focus on iOS users. iOS users buy products, so accessory makers focus on iOS users. iOS users have money and the proven will to spend it, so vehicle makers focus on iOS users. Etcetera. Android can have the Hee Haw demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ellis D.” for the heads up.]

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