Yet more proof that Android is for poor people

“Google’s Android mobile operating system has 1 billion users — more than twice the 470 million people on Apple’s iOS equivalent — yet Apple pays out twice the amount of revenue to app developers on its system, according to Andreessen Horowitz analyst Benedict Evans,” Jim Edwards reports for Business Insider. “So although it sounds crass to say ‘Android is for poor people,’ on a global scale that’s exactly how it is being used… We’ve seen this platform/income split a couple of times before, both globally and within the U.S. And app store revenue reflects that split.”

“Apple’s share of all users is now down to about 18% worldwide, according to Business Insider Intelligence, from 23% in 2012. Android versions are up to 76%, from 70%, in the same period,” Edwards reports. “Evans estimates that Apple paid developers $10 billion in the last 12 months after taking its 30% cut from app download revenue in the App Store. Google paid out $5 billion in the same period, Evans believes.”

Edwards reports, “Evans makes two points: Android’s market share is strongest in relatively lower income countries; [and] many people in those countries lack credit cards and Google has been very slow to offer carrier billing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we explained way back in November 2012:

It’s the marketing, stupid.

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 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.

Device Atlas, iOS vs. Android, data usage by country, March 2014:

Device Atlas, iOS vs. Android
Device Atlas, iOS vs. Android

Related articles:
More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
Apple’s iOS dominates in richer countries, Android in poorer regions – March 25, 2014
IDC: Apple iPhone to maintain high value, margins, and market share through 2018 – February 28, 2014
Why Apple’s iPhone keeps raking in the majority of mobile phone profits – March 19, 2014
Apple dominates with 60% share of mobile phone profits – March 18, 2014
Android has the most unit share, but Apple dominates profit share, making more money than all Android smartphone makers combined – November 15, 2013
Android users poorer, shorter, unhealthier, less educated, far less charitable than Apple iPhone users – November 13, 2013
IDC data shows two thirds of Android’s 81% smartphone share are cheap junk phones – November 13, 2013
IDC: Android worldwide smartphone market share passes 80% – November 12, 2013
Apple Maps makes killer comeback as Google Maps loses access to world’s most desirable mobile customers – November 12, 2013
Android phones 3 times more likely than Apple iPhones to have been bought at discount store – August 22, 2013
CIRP: Apple iPhone users are younger, richer, and better educated than those who settle for Samsung knockoff phones – August 19, 2013
Twitter heat map shows iPhone use by the affluent, Android by the poor – June 20, 2013
Apple’s iPhone generates more in carrier fees than rival smartphones – January 30, 2013
Unsurprisingly, survey says Apple’s iOS is highest priority among mobile developers – January 23, 2013
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Yankee Group: Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more, remain more loyal vs. other device users – July 20, 2010
iPhone owners more likely to pay for digital content – November 26, 2009
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009
Apple iPhone users buy many more apps, surf the Web much more than other ‘smartphone’ users – March 27, 2009

43 Comments

  1. I think that the rich vs poor doesn’t tell the whole story. Lumped in with the Android sales are phones that are running Android but the interface is more geared towards a feature phone rather than a smart phone.

    Users of feature phones typically don’t use more than the basic phone features. That’s why total numbers of devices vs. total value of users is a far different number.

    1. Well said. I also appreciate MND’s toned down rhetoric about poverty and android. Truth is, a lot of people are talked into Android without knowing what they are getting into. This the conversion rate to the iPhone at renewal is so high. You got to remember, Android is the only defense the Carriers have against Apple and IOS.

  2. MDN: The 3rd reason that I have discussed with Android owners and that is they simply do not value their privacy and feel comfortable to get a cheaper product if the likes of Google would subsidize their device.

    I get the comment “I am ok if that means I get a cheaper phone” when I explain what Google and the likes are doing behind the seen.

    The 4th item: The whole notion of “Total Cost of Ownership” is just not understood and Android users prefer to pay as little as possible upfront even if the total cost is much higher. They are used to pay high interest rate already to credit card and loan sharks and they simply do not believe of the alternative.

    1. Nobody cares about Total Cost of Ownership. They didn’t for Windows PCs; they certainly don’t for smartphones that get replaced every 1-3 years.

      The security issue is intriguing, because smartphones are very quickly moving from just being able to do email, web browsing and apps to becoming your digital wallet. We’re seeing payment apps already, and I fully expect Apple and Android to introduce full-on iWallet concepts within a year (Androids will be severely lacking in security, though).

      This will make privacy and security paramount, especially in light of the malware attacks already being made on Android devices. However, it will take probably more than one severe data breach on Android devices where people actually lose money before the reality of Google’s true attitude toward security and privacy are truly recognized. It’s unfortunate, but it seems to be human nature to not believe a serious threat until it wipes out billions of dollars of something.

  3. I understand if someone wants to buy a free Android phone because they are truly poor and are being responsible about their finances. I can’t blame someone making necessary financial choices.

    BUT what drives me insane is when someone gets a “premium” Android device that costs the same or more than an iPhone. WTFFFFFFF

  4. Sufficiently snarky! Why not celebrate an operating system for lower-income people? If iOS really is superior, those lower-income folks will move up as their income grows. Driving a wedge between people may be good business; I’d like to think MDN is better than that.

            1. Only in your addled mind. MacDailyNews is the stuff at the top. The stuff under the title “Commments” is reader feedback, not MacDailyNews’ opinion. It’s quite clear – for most people.

            2. Actually, it is a community, but I don’t attribute your comments to MacDailyNews any more than I would attribute First 2014, Then 2016’s comments to you.

              You shouldn’t attribute readers’ comments to MacDailyNews. This much seems totally obvious – to most people.

            3. Perhaps, but “MDN” has no problem with deleting comment it deems too offensive – like Botvinnik’s anti-homsexual ravings this past weekend – so community standards must count for something.

        1. “Lower income folks,” a.k.a. the poor, deserve to be denigrated. They have failed at life. They drag the rest down. They leech off the producers.

          They offer little or nothing of value and a whole lot of negatives:
          • Obesity to sap our healthcare system
          • Smoking (because they’re stupid and like to make themselves even poorer while they give themselves cancer for which the rest of us will also have to pay)
          • Welfare of every sort imaginable and unimaginable which increases taxes and saps investment money out of the economy
          • Drug abuse and crime
          • Unemployment: Because they’re too stupid to work and too stupid to go to school
          • Nasty body odor in public. No money for, or sense to use, soap on a daily basis
          • No taste (Android users, Windows PC users, Walmart T-shirts, bad food, trailer parks; disgusting overall)
          • Auto accidents (because they’re stupid and usually drunk and/or high and/or texting inanities to their drooling brethren)
          • Over-population. Because the one thing they seem to do well (and for which the fucking government stupidly rewards them) is reproduce their stupidity many times over

          On the plus side, they do keep my landscaping in decent shape and my homes, cars, and pools clean.

          1. ^^^ This is the product of anonymity.

            If MDN required real names, we’d never see such despicable rants on this site.

            WHY oh WHY do I continue to contribute clicks and ad revenue here?

            In fact, society unveiled one of your fellow anonymous trolls just last week:

            “A top Arizona school official who was outed as an anonymous Internet troll last week is coming under fire for comments he made supporting the state-wide banning of Spanish.

            “We all need to stomp out balkanization. No Spanish radio stations, no Spanish billboards, no Spanish TV stations, no Spanish newspapers,” Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal wrote anonymously shortly after being elected.”

            http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/25/arizona-school-superintendent-wants-to-ban-spanish-this-is-america-speak-english/

            1. What, exactly, is despicable about Well Armed’s comment? Too truthful for you to handle?

              And, by the way, English should be codified as official language in the United States of America.

              Declaring English the official language means that official government business at all levels must be conducted solely in English. This includes all public documents, records, legislation and regulations, as well as hearings, official ceremonies and public meetings.

              Official English legislation contains common-sense exceptions permitting the use of languages other than English for such things as public health and safety services, judicial proceedings, foreign language instruction and the promotion of tourism.

              In 1996, U.S.ENGLISH was instrumental in passing H.R. 123, “The Bill Emerson English Language Empowerment Act of 1996.” That bill, making English the official language of the U.S. government, passed in the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote of 259-169. Unfortunately, the Senate did not act on the bill before the end of the session. Currently, U.S.ENGLISH is working with Rep. Steve King of Iowa and Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma to help pass Official English in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. H.R. 997 and S. 464, respectively, are pending in committee.

              Thirty-one states have some form of official English law. Most recently, Oklahoma passed official English legislation in 2010. U.S.ENGLISH is currently working in several states to pass measures that will enact new official English bills or strengthen existing legislation.

              http://www.us-english.org

            2. “What, exactly, is despicable about Well Armed’s comment? Too truthful for you to handle?”

              No – shrivel-hearted and bigoted. It’s the height of stupidity to characterize all poor people in this way.

              Oprah once did a program on “the working poor”. Something to turn the stomach of anyone with any degree of heart or conscience. People working like dogs and not being able to even earn above the poverty line. And no, they don’t “choose” to have poorly paying jobs.

              And crime – obviously he knows nothing. White-collar crime so vastly outweighs what we usually think of as crime as to be a sick joke. The cost of “crime” to society is like pocket change compared to white collar crime, the great majority of which is never prosecuted.

              While we are at it, Jesus, so beloved of much of the right wing, did not preach, “Do not help the poor person lying in the gutter, because he chose to be there and probably smells bad.”

  5. Google has unwittingly fell into a trap of its own making by assuming it could garner the “middle class” by giving away a phone operating system to gain advertising dollars.

    Google never realized that it would instead gain the low end of the lowest customers in the least developed countries where customers have the LOWEST disposable income.

    That is a horrible demographic mistake from day one at Google. It is ultimately dragging down Google’s brand value to be seen in what is basically the loser category!

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