iOS users seven times more active than those who settle for Android

“Two numbers from recent surveys on ‘share’ in the smartphone world nicely illustrate the difference between users of the Android and iOS platforms, and act as a reminder to place Android’s market share dominance in perspective,” Ewen Spence reports for Forbes.

“As Android touches 85% of the market share in terms of handset sales, iOS sits at 11.9%,” Spence reports. “Android is just over seven times more prevalent in Q2 2014 than the next-best platform (iOS). Which makes the data from Net Applications on the usage share of the two platforms even more of a contrast.”

“While most mobile advertising networks will allow marketing teams to target all the mobile platforms, anyone looking to target a specific platform, especially developers, should consider these numbers carefully and in context,” Spence reports. “Any survey is going have some margin of error, but the trend of iOS users being more active than Android has been consistent over many studies.”

Net Applications: Q2 2014 Mobile OS Usage
Net Applications: Q2 2014 Mobile OS Usage

Spence reports, “Not all users are equal; not all handset sales will contribute to a larger audience for your application, advertising campaign, or freemium game title; and targeting the biggest platform will not guarantee you the biggest result.”

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:
Report: Google’s Android the ‘preferred platform’ for terrorists – August 1, 2014
Yet more proof that Android is for poor people – June 27, 2014
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


  1. Did I read somewhere that Net Applications’ survey uses a different methodology than other surveys, in that it counts 1 event the first time a device makes contact with a monitored web site, and then for the rest of the day ignores any return visits? If so then that would seem to deflate the numbers of users who use their tablets throughout the day.

  2. Yawn.

    A better, more accurate three part headline:

    A) Despite the rage and fury of Apple fans, Android gives consumers a choice, many actually most) of whom cannot afford an iOS device

    B) Despite the rage and fury of Apple fans, Android gives device makers – many of whom were making mobile and smartphones before Apple entered the market – a chance to stay in business. (HTC joined Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo and LG in being profitable last quarter, and in addition LG’s profits increased substantially last quarter).

    C) Despite the rage and fury of Apple fans, there exists not a bit of evidence that Android has harmed Apple in any way.

    So add A-C together and why do articles like this exist? A better question still: why are Apple fans far more preoccupied with denigrating Android, its manufacturers and consumers than vice versa? I visit the Android sites routinely and Apple is almost never mentioned (and when it is, the context is generally neutral).

    1. I guess because it’s a poorly-executed, terrible copy of a great OS, our OS, and because most think these people would have a far better experience if they just got the ‘real’ thing versus the bad copy.

      We can pretty much say we know they would have a better experience. As most engagement numbers would seem to indicate, iOS users are using their devices for far more. Make sense?

      And I did mention the copying thing right? That pisses most everyone off, that copiers can have/(steal) over 80% of the market seemingly without a legal care in the world.

      1. A) If Google stole Android, why didn’t Apple sue? Not only did Apple not sue Google, but their actions against Android were limited to securing licensing agreements from LG over a few features and suing Samsung over devices that failed in the marketplace. As a matter of fact, during their last trial against Samsung, Apple specifically denied that they had ever at any time accused Google of infringement. So you lose that point.

        B) These people would have a better user experience? Wrong. Nearly all of the 85% market share that Android enjoys cannot even afford a refurbished or outdated iPhone. So is “no user experience” (which is what these people would have) superior to the one with Android?

        C) Now that we have established that even Apple has only claimed that 2 Android vendors ever copied – and that even those were nonessential features on a few SKUs – do you think that LG, HTC, etc. would be better off being Nokia and Blackberry right now?

        D) Claims that Android is a bad OS that offers a poor user experience are wildly exaggerated and old at best. Evidence of this is that Apple partisans make these claims without providing anything in the way of evidence or illustration. Ever since Ice Cream Sandwich, even people capable of objectively making the case that “Apple is better” cannot state why “Android is bad.” (And when they do, it is usually due to problems with the hardware and not the OS.) And with Jelly Bean and especially Kit Kat, it was accurate to say that Android offered similar performance and user experience to last-generation Apple devices, meaning that it is impossible to call an Android phone with quality hardware running Android 4.2 or 4.3 poorly executed or terrible without saying the same thing about an iPhone 4s. And now that iOS 8 will incorporate features from Android 4.3 and 4.4, it is now impossible to make that claim.

        And as for the 80% of the market, Apple doesn’t have 80% of the PC market either. Even with PC sales falling off a cliff thanks to mobile devices and Windows 8, Apple sales only accounted for about 11% of the PC market the last 12 months. So the reason for Apple’s small market share is not the existence of copycat operating systems, but Apple’s pricing. It all amounts to fury, then, over the willingness and ability of Google and Microsoft to come up with a business model that allows the market to provide devices (mobile on one hand and computers on the other) that most people can afford, and a lot of them actually do legitimately want and enjoy.

        Yes, I did say legitimately want and enjoy. Because, after all, if Android was so bad, why aren’t people looking for an alternative? Why don’t Windows phones sell? How come Mozilla has given up on Firefox OS phones already? Why can’t Ubuntu and Tizen phones even get to the starting line? And why is Blackberry surviving on credit and reserves? Android’s 85% market share is proof that its user experience and quality is not nearly as bad as Apple fans claim. Even your argument is “everybody other OS is even worse” only helps Android. Incidentally, that was never the case with Windows OS. OS/2 was better. So was Linux. So was Intel’s OS that Microsoft locked out of the market. There were alternatives that the Microsoft monopoly merely crushed. Not so with Android. Plenty of alternatives have been marketed and backed by major companies. They just don’t succeed because there is no market for it. Why? Because Android users are happy with their user experience despite Apple fans insisting that they are not and should not be.

        1. A: Apple did not sue Google because Google was giving Android away and the only thing you can sue for is monetary damages for that product. Since Google was not “making any money” from distributing Android, there was nothing to sue about. Apple and other IP owners that had their work appropriated in Android filed over 70 copyright and patent lawsuits around the world. . . a few directly against Google for “publishing code without permission,” which was found complete with comments. . . which Google quickly stripped out, but left the code, claiming it was their own coding.

          B: 85% of Android users cannot even update their OS. Most cannot even find their way around the device. They use them only as a phone. That is the extent of their “user experience.” So, yes, they would have a far better user experience. . . and most, if they had bought an iDevice, would enjoy updated devices without being required to BUY new devices to get the next version.

          C: We have not established that only two Android makers copied Apple. That is YOUR straw man argument. Only two have been sued to date. There is a difference. Others were sent Cease and Desist letters and made specific changes. . . and Apple is waiting to finish the Samsung case to go after others, a standard practice in infringement cases. Others dropped the infringed items as soon as Apple brought them to their attention.

          D: Another example of a straw man. There have been many examples of the differences in user experience between Android and iOS. Your claim no one has described the qualitative difference is just a lie. Many people have moved from Android to iOS and done exactly that. As for iOS incorporating features of Android, I’ve seen said features on both, and they are not exact implementation you imply, but qualitative different. . . and some switchers say even those are improvements.

          You then wax non sequiturial about PC market share. Irrelevant.

          Android has an 85% market share because they are over ~150 makers competing against ONE company which does not compete against 98% of them. The vast majority of those 150 Android makers do not even manufacture a phone or tablet that could by any stretch be a competitor to the phones and tablets Apple makes. They don’t even sell to the same demographic. Many of the phones cannot even connect to a marketplace and are at best a “feature phone” and the tablets are literally toys aimed at the kids market and many of the “white box” maker tablets lack such basic functionality as WIFI. . . yet are counted as Android because they ship with Android OS 2.2 or lower. Even phones in the “smartphone” category and tablets in the high-end are not used anywhere nearly as much as their iOS competitors. These are facts, much as you desire to deny them in your rage and fury.

          Your claim that Android users are happy with their user experience is also false to fact. They merely accept it. Happy is only there for the geek squad Android users who love to tweak their devices. Almost every average Android phone user I know is at some time frustrated or pissed off with their phone. I have not run into that with iPhone users.

    2. @ atlman, Can you name at least one of the sites you have visited so that independent verification can be carried out?

      As it is, you have made several “throw away” statements.

      1. ComputerWorld

        Basically anyone who deals with BOTH Apple and Android devices.

        All right, now please tell me about all these sites that talk about how horrible Android is. (Yes, I know that you will reply with something regarding security. I responded to the security issue on a previous comment and will do so again: it is all FUD by analysts and writers who themselves use iPhones and iPads. Reporting on how Android MAY be exploited IN THEORY is much harder than reporting on how Android HAS been exploited IN PRACTICE because finding an actual Android user that has suffered a security issue in the wild as akin to finding a needle in a haystack.)

    3. Despite the rage and fury of atlman, which signifies nothing at all, you understand nothing at all.

      The vast majority of Android users do not take advantage of any of that which you bloviate about. Only a small minority of Android makers are showing an important thing called PROFIT. Most of those Android makers are pushing product out the door, but not for a profit. . . they are seldom even breaking even.

      Your claim that Apple is not injured by a host of “me too” phone and tablet makers competing against them with the concepts they created and pioneered, AND patented and copyrighted, by an operating system that was created with the assistance of an industrial espionage agent at the highest levels in Apple’s management, in disingenuous. When the major Android competitor, Samsung, gained its initial market share with products that were almost exact clones, down to the packages, marketing, and icons—so much so their own attorney could not distinguish their product from Apple’s in court at a few feet’s distance—that multiple courts around the world have found that Apple HAS been harmed by Android and its mere existence. . . as has Microsoft, Oracle, and several other creators of the IP that was appropriated by Google without the nicety of legally licensing it.

  3. Atlman the man
    Great points, I think if any other phone O.S had Android’s position misguided Apple fans would still rip & bash into it. A model fan is one who is is happy with Apple’s work, checks out the competition for useful stuff they want Apple to implement and is ready to criticize Apple when they do wrong. Support Apple but not fanatically so. Competition is always good, the make Apple better and work faster to please us.

  4. Did they paste the wrong pie chart to the article? I see iOS usage at 44.19% to Android’s at 44.62% .. What kind of convoluted math will make that 7 to 1?

    1. Ok, looked a bit deeper at this and on the surface I can see how they got 7 to 1 usage. However examining the methodology used (see below) I would have to say you would have to also assume that a significant sample of Android users in countries where Net Applications has few hosted companies and iOS is not well represented have accessed any sites Net Applications takes their data from. That said it may be interesting to see where the users that make up the chart are located worldwide.

      Our mobile share methodology measures share for browser capable mobile devices. This means the mobile device must be able to render HTML pages and javascript. Visits to WAP pages are not included.

      We use a unique methodology for collecting this data. We collect data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers. The data is compiled from approximately 160 million visitors per month. The information published is an aggregate of the data from this network of hosted website statistics. The site unique visitor and referral information is summarized on a monthly, weekly, daily and hourly basis

      In addition, we classify 430+ referral sources identified as search engines. Aggregate traffic referrals from these engines are summarized reported on. The statistics for search engines include both organic and sponsored referrals. The websites in our population represent almost all countries on earth.

      Additional estimates about the website population:
      76% participate in pay per click programs to drive traffic to their sites.
      43% are commerce sites
      18% are corporate sites
      10% are content sites
      29% classify themselves as other (includes gov, org, search engine marketers etc..)

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