Yet another study throws a spotlight on the differences in how Apple and Android smartphone owners use their devices, with a heavy emphasis on ‘use’. Both in apps and overall smartphone usage, iPhone owners rank higher than owners of Android handsets.
After surveying both U.S. and European smartphone owners, researchers not only found owners of the Apple device more frequently use apps, but conduct more tasks suitable to smartphones, such as browsing the Internet. This despite Android’s advantage both in number of handsets out there and in sales.
The dichotomy just reinforces our Android in a Drawer theory, which says many owners of the Google-powered devices see their handsets as just a spiffier version of dumb feature phones, ignoring most of what makes smartphones smart…
Indeed, in app categories ranging from weather to sports, iOS owners reported more frequent usage, according to a survey by Forrester (via TechCrunch) of U.S. smartphone owners. Weather is the most popular app category among both platforms, yet more iOS owners said they checked the weather more often, 71 percent to 65 percent.
Okay, so maybe iOS owners are more antsy about the weather, or maps or music – there must be some sign that Android owners are leading smartphone usage, right?
In a survey of European iPhone and Android owners, the research firm found both groups like to browse the internet, text, use apps, search and social network. But the percentages of that usage is striking.
More than 90 percent of iPhone owners told the researchers they browsed the internet at least once a week. Just 80 percent of Android owners report doing the same. Messaging – a function often performed on dumb feature phones – was where we saw the closest usage pattern.
For Apple iPhone owners: 90 percent said they messaged at least once in the past week, versus 83 percent of Android owners. The disparity reappears when it comes to app usage: 89 percent versus 76 percent, according to Forrester.
The figures show “while Android continues to grow in popularity, it has yet to grab that premium class of consumers who use their phones the most and are the most attractive consumers for app makers,” writes TechCrunch.
App usage drives app developers to write more apps.
In turn, app developers drive demand for purchasing hardware. Obviously, if it was a case of hardware driving app usage, developers would be flocking to Google’s Play store, not to Apple’s App Store.
That missing link is Android’s fatal flaw. As anyone knows, you can lead a smartphone owner to apps, but you can’t make him (or her) use them.