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Android Businesses IOS Software The Almighty Buck

Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-phone-is-your-class-marker dept.
An anonymous reader writes: "Android has a huge market share advantage over iOS these days, but it hasn't had as much success at following the money. iOS continues to win over many app developers and businesses who want to maximize their earnings. Now, an article at Slate goes over some of the statistics demonstrating this trend. A map of geo-located Tweets show that in Manhattan, a generally affluent area, most of the Tweets come from iPhones. Meanwhile, in nearby Newark, which is a poorer area, most Tweets come from Android devices. In other tests, traffic data shows 87% of visits to e-commerce websites from tablets come from iPads, and the average value of an order from an iPad is $155, compared to $110 from Android tablets. (Android fairs a bit better on phones). Android shows a huge market share advantage in poorer countries, as well. Not all devs and business are just chasing the money, though. Twitter developer Cennydd Bowles said, 'I do hope, given tech's rhetoric about changing the world and disrupting outdated hierarchies, that we don't really think only those with revenue potential are worth our attention. A designer has a duty to be empathetic; to understand and embrace people not like him/herself. A group owning different devices to the design elite is not a valid reason to neglect their needs.'"
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Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android

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  • People with money (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    can afford to be apple fanboys, for a while at least.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      People with money

      Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Note 3 are the best selling Android phones in the world at the moment. Both are cheaper off contract than the iPhone 5S, but not by a huge amount, and both are older models now being discounted. The 5S is price-comparable with Apple's equivalent and is likely to be the best-seller when it's widely available.

      So the demoraphic isn't showing that only rich people can afford iPhones.

      It's more likely that the wealthy areas are more socially conservative and tend to stick with w

      • by pnutjam (523990)
        as opposed to upper class conservatism, "if it ain't broke, how can I nudge things towards broken and get hired to pretend to fix it."
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is a false dilemma.

    • by perpenso (1613749) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:51PM (#46666495)

      You make it up in volume. This is a false dilemma.

      Actually you do not get enough volume to make it up, at least as of August 2013. According to http://www.forbes.com/sites/tr... [forbes.com]

      Number of downloads per app, Android 60,000 and iOS 40,000.
      Average revenue per download, Android $0.01875 and iOS $0.10.
      Average revenue per app, Android $1,125 and iOS $4,000.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        As usual the Forbes article is full of speculation and bullshit.

        While the company does not break out revenue numbers on their apps, recent data in their financial filings seemed to indicate somewhere around $900 million in pay-outs to developers âoeover the last 12 monthsâ

        So they are just making a vague guess about Android revenues, not based on any actual figures. Also that only includes payments that go through Google, not other in-app purchases or non-Play purchases. Yeah, you can buy Android apps from anywhere, including the Amazon app store or individual company's web sites, and I have done so in the past. Sat nav apps are a good example, with high value maps and voices being sold without any interaction fr

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... "Manhattan, a generally affluent area."

    • by breeze95 (880714)

      ... "Manhattan, a generally affluent area."

      Manhattan is generally an affluent area. What's the problem with the statement?

  • Funny (Score:5, Funny)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Friday April 04, 2014 @06:40PM (#46665621)

    "the average value of an order from an iPad is $155, compared to $110 from Android tablets."

    The funny thing is, that often it's for the exact same thing both of them bought.
    Sites check the user-agent and rich guys (IOS) are shown a higher price for the same objects, as it has been noticed quite a few times.
    So if you want a bargain, you need a user-agent-changer for your iPad to mimic a poor people's OS.

    • Sites check the user-agent and rich guys (IOS) are shown a higher price for the same objects, as it has been noticed quite a few times.

      That would be interesting if true. Do you have a link to a reputable source with actual examples? Or is this just a myth?

  • Amazing Insight (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Friday April 04, 2014 @06:40PM (#46665625) Homepage

    People with lower incomes buy less expensive devices and spend less money? Who could have ever guessed? Brilliant work by Slate.

    • by St.Creed (853824)

      Actually, it's in direct contrast to other research that said most people with iPhones had a lower income than most people with Android phones: those who can afford it the least sometimes tend to buy the most expensive stuff based. But that was a few years ago - perhaps it has changed in the mean time.

      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        No, it is not.

        Whether you live in an affluent neighbourhood and/or spend lots of money may be correlated with Income but ...

      • by sessamoid (165542)

        Actually, it's in direct contrast to other research that said most people with iPhones had a lower income than most people with Android phones: those who can afford it the least sometimes tend to buy the most expensive stuff based. But that was a few years ago - perhaps it has changed in the mean time.

        Gonna have call BS on this one. I need to see a link for this assertion.

        • by Mr0bvious (968303)

          I think this has some basis, but probably varies between different cultures and social groups.

          Here in Australia I see this all the time (so it's only anecdotal evidence) it's very obvious that the low tier middle income earners and also the 'dole' receivers seem to always have the latest and greatest electronic devices, spend lots on entertainment etc. Whereas those with higher incomes tend to be somewhat more thrifty with their spending.

          I assume this is not a coincidence - I think it's due to the same moti

          • by jp10558 (748604)

            I suppose it vary significantly, and may be me justifying liking new things, but here goes:
            Your longer term big ticket items suggested are not necessarily more valuable than smaller items (though I don't know how "small" a car really is in comparison).

            My thought process is as follows - There is significant uncertainty in whether a house or given college degree or early retirement is going to be worth the time or money, especially years on.

            Houses just crashed a few years ago, and for lots of people it was a

            • by Geeky (90998)

              Funnily enough, I upgraded to an LED TV from a CRT just last week. My old TV was 14 years old, still a good picture and the sound was better than the new one (would need a soundbar to match it). I only did it because I was getting fed up with watching streaming stuff on the PC, and was finding that subtitles, scores etc are now displayed so small that they were hard to read (broadcasters expect you to have a bigger TV now, obviously).

              I could have upgraded much sooner. I buy toys when I want them. There's

          • by nukenerd (172703)
            My father-in-law always pays top price for everything and would not dream of trying to negotiate or walking away from an obvious rip-off. He would see that as loss of pride.

            And he is as poor as a church mouse, so he does not buy things very often. Of course, paying top price for everything, and his general lack of financial sense, is part of the reason he is poor. If he wanted to buy a mobile phone (although he never would), someone, anyone, would only need to say to him that it should be the most ex
        • Re:Amazing Insight (Score:4, Informative)

          by metlin (258108) on Friday April 04, 2014 @11:38PM (#46667329) Journal

          In economics, it's called the Veblen Effect, where a highly priced good is valued more because of the socioeconomic status that it confers.

          So, you will see people paying a lot of money for an otherwise overpriced luxury good.

      • by Enry (630)

        Android phones haven't been inexpensive until fairly recently. I wanted to test T-Moble without spending a lot of money or porting my phone over, so I got a fairly decent Android 4.3 phone for $150. It doesn't have a removable battery or SD card expansion, but for what I wanted it was perfect and I've decided to keep it and give it to my daughter in a year or so when she's old enough to have one.

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      I would say it's a variety of factors. I got relatives this $99 Aldi tablet because they are almost completely computer illiterate so anything beyond email was a bonus. I'm not that near and dear to them as to afford them ipads.

      I expected the hardware to be completely half-assed, but for the price it was surprisingly good, to the point that I could put Netflix on it and it would play videos. The problem was not the hardware. Granted, the screen was anything close to beautiful unlike recent iPads (or eve

      • Still, I think some limitations should only be defaults able to be turned off by the power user

        They are - millions of people jailbreak iOS devices. Then they have full control and can adjust anything.

        Anything less and it's way too easy to social engineer people to do things like enable side-loading and download content from a shady website...

        The thing I really don't like about Android is that it's trying to continue the PC era which was an utter disaster for the non-technical population of the world. They

    • No kidding (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:05PM (#46666209)

      I mean yes, there are expensive Android devices. You can have a nice, premium, phone or tablet if you wish. I loves me my Galaxy Note 3 but it certainly costs a lot, more than an iPhone even. However there are also cheap Android devices. You can get a smart phone for $100 or less (talking full price here, not subsidized). So Android phones are an option on most budgets.

      Until recently, all you could get with Apple was the standard iPhone which is like $600-700 full price. Even the new "c" model is $550 full price. That puts them out of range of most people who want prepaid phone plans, which is often what people with lower incomes go for.

      Well those people are also likely to spend less on apps. After all, if your finances are such that you wish to buy an economical phone, you probably don't want to ruin it with spending a ton of money on software.

      So ya, that will push the average down on Android phones. Personally, I see that as a big positive to Android. There's something to be said for a thing that can be available to a wide segment of the population. Exclusivity to the affluent isn't something I consider to be positive.

      • by tepples (727027)

        However there are also cheap Android devices. You can get a smart phone for $100 or less (talking full price here, not subsidized). So Android phones are an option on most budgets.

        Plus how much a year for the data plan? A lot of these prepaid carriers refuse to activate a smartphone on an occasional-use voice-only plan. People end up having to carry two phones: a smartphone to run apps on (with Wi-Fi data and no cellular service) and a dumbphone to make and receive calls on.

        • Sounds like the USA sucks for phones. In the UK, I'm on a pay-as-you-go plan. I top up £10 every few months and pay 3p/min for calls (about 5), 2p/text (about 3.3) and 1p/MB for data (about 1.6). Most of the time I'm near WiFi if I want to do something online, so I rarely turn on the mobile data for my phone, and when I do I rarely use more than 5-10MB. Aren't there any carriers in the US that do pay-as-you-go data, so if you don't use any you don't pay for any?
        • Our student at work has a plan that is like $30-40/month or something that is unlimited data (I don't remember how much high speed, they throttle at some point), 400 talk minutes and unlimited text. It's a prepaid deal.

          • by tepples (727027)
            That's the issue. Someone currently paying $120 per year for voice only would have to upgrade to $360-$480 per year that you quote for voice and data. That dwarfs the price of the phone itself.
      • by Xest (935314)

        Yep, it's an abuse of statistics. The fact is that the Android market is so much drastically larger than that of the iOS market (nearly at 80% marketshare now with Apple down below 15% IIRC?) that you can still have drastically more more wealthy Android users than iOS users and there still be room for a bunch of less wealthy users to drag the average down.

        An equally nonsensical stat that could tell the opposite story is to sum up the wealth of all smartphone users using each device type - do this and I assu

        • Yep, it's an abuse of statistics. The fact is that the Android market is so much drastically larger than that of the iOS market (nearly at 80% marketshare now with Apple down below 15% IIRC?)

          No honey, pretending that the theoretical market based on marketshare (and that's even ignoring phone isn use) is more important than the actual measurable market, that is an abuse of statistics.

          • by Xest (935314)

            Marketshare IS the measurable market, it's the amount of devices being sold.

            What you're calling the real market is an utterly arbitrary set of definitions used to define "real".

            You must be an Apple fanboy, because only a fanboy could make such an obscure mental leap in trying to redefine reality to suit their predetermined bias.

    • Not every hypothesis needs to be shocking to be reportable. Sure, lots of people could have guessed, but how many people actually proved it?
  • is full of half-assed quality adware, this is based on personal experience with an android tablet i bought recently, for example there was no app for taking screenshots, so i search the Play Store for screenshot apps, instead of finding a couple to choose from i find dozens of them and most require i root/unlock my tablet in order to function, i think i will wait until i can get a more open build of arm tablet so i can install Debian on it or just throw in the towel on electronic gadets and live like an Ami
    • by Jmc23 (2353706)
      Well,something is off about your story. Unless you bought a really cheap tablet without ICS then you didn't buy it recently.

      Unless of course you're one of those people that would rather do a websearch than consult the manual you get.

    • by dwheeler (321049) on Friday April 04, 2014 @07:01PM (#46665767) Homepage Journal
      There's no "app" for screenshots because it's built into Android itself, and has been since 4.0 (which was released many years ago). It's volume down + power button. Just Google for "Android screenshot".
      • by FudRucker (866063)
        just tried it, does not work on mine, Jellybean-4.1.1
      • There's no "app" for screenshots because it's built into Android itself, and has been since 4.0 (which was released many years ago). It's volume down + power button. Just Google for "Android screenshot".

        And? You have been able to do a screenshot on the iPhone/iPod Touch since version 1.0 using the power button + home button.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          And what? He is offering a tip to the OP. He is not attacking your precious iPhone.

      • How did it take until version FOUR to do something as mind-blastingly obvious as take a screenshot? Even Windows has been able to do this as far as I can remember.
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        There's no "app" for screenshots because it's built into Android itself, and has been since 4.0 (which was released many years ago). It's volume down + power button. Just Google for "Android screenshot".

        And until late last year, you could get brand new Android phones with Gingerbread on them. Even older than ICS.

        Assuming users all have ICS+ phones is not a safe assumption. At least Gingerbread users are unlikely to be accessing the Google Play store, so developers don't need to concentrate on it anymore. (T

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      From what I have seen on the cheaper android stuff, it's like Microsoft vs Apple all over again from the 90s.

      Just from the POV of cheaper hardware but at the tradeoff of bloatware/computer monitoring/antivirus and the like vs a walled garden.

  • Misleading map (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2014 @06:51PM (#46665697)

    Many of the commenters on the Slate article point out that the map is drawn in such a way that the red (iPhone) tweets are drawn on top of the green (Android) ones. That creates a misleading picture.

  • I you look at the picture is the Moto G took 6% of the UK market in three months. What it does not say it that the phones it replaced where the cheap Windows phones which upto then had been carving a tiny niche in the market before then. No wonder Windows has become free and Nokia have started selling android.

    The fact that Apple fanatics are clinging to past glories is not news. Show me a value phone...or even a watch. Otherwise just watch your market share continue to shrink.

  • In other words, Apple is for the 1%...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So what does that say about me?

  • Lesson (Score:1, Troll)

    by PopeRatzo (965947)

    So people who use iOS devices do more shopping with them than people who use Android devices.

    Is anyone surprised? I'll bet they get their bodies waxed more, too. Probably spend more on moisturizer and bath oils. Drink more wine rather than beer. Watch more episodes of Girls and Ellen.

    I bet we could come up with a whole list of things they do more.

  • The only conclusions that I can draw has to do with the people who use Twitter. While twitter's user base may be sufficiently representative of the overall mobile user space, I don't see how it can correlate to wealth of platform adoption until other factors are also ruled out.

  • A group owning different devices to the design elite is not a valid reason to neglect their needs.

    A group spending less money on your app is a valid reason to prioritize other groups first, or exclusively (depending on the cost of development and potential money on the table).

  • Misleading map (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheNarrator (200498) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:00PM (#46666183)

    If you look at the heatmap of downtown San Francisco and you click off Apple you'll see that there are plenty of android users in wealthy areas. The apple red just blocks you from seeing the android blue underneath. So IMHO, Android has a lot of wealthy users but Apple only has wealthy users.

    • by MeNeXT (200840)

      Sorry don't have mod points but I'd mod you up.

      What I see with the limited data is that the average sale will bring you more from iOS device but you will make more sales from Android devices. Android has a better penetration on more demographics than iOS. Which is common sense that the more expensive devices will sell to more affluent individuals. No kiddin Sherlock.

      Is this news? I bet if we compared BMW owners to Kia/Hyundai owners we would come out to the same conclusion. For sure BMW owners would pay mor

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        And what you're ignoring is the better penetration on more demographics are ... demographics that aren't buying. So while it has 'bigger numbers', they aren't useful numbers.

        Go turn your radio up to 11 and fanboy about how awesome it is.

    • If you look at the heatmap of downtown San Francisco and you click off Apple you'll see that there are plenty of android users in wealthy areas. The apple red just blocks you from seeing the android blue underneath. So IMHO, Android has a lot of wealthy users but Apple only has wealthy users.

      Well, somebody with an Android has to mow the lawn.

  • Most people in this world have to trade their time for money in order to pay their bills. This includes people who spend their time writing programs for phones and computers. Why is it so surprising that people that can afford Apple products are also able to spend more money?

    It does not cost significantly less to make the hardware of phones and tablets from one company to the next. What costs a lot of money is making good software to run on this hardware. It is mostly because the software on Android is "fr

  • You pick a platform based on market size.

    PC's historically have had a lot more software available for them than Macs because you have a larger target market. If you target one platform, you target PC's, unless the market for your application is graphic artists, musicians, etc., then you target Macs. If you target two markets, you target PC's and Macs, and you don't target Linux.

    If I target iOS because I have a product that will work on a tablet/mobile platform, then I have the largest possible market. I'm

    • You pick a platform based on market size.

      It's not quite so simple, as you point out.

      If you target one platform, you target PC's, unless the market for your application is graphic artists, musicians, etc., then you target Macs.

      This is the important part. You don't target based on the number of devices sold--the market share--you target based on the platform that your intended audience is using. It is the rare application that will force people to forgo the newest things or switch platforms. There were plenty of DOS developers who eschewed Windows. Where are they now? There were some Mac developers who ignored Mac OS X for as long as they could as well. Eventually, they either updat

      • by tlambert (566799)

        You pick a platform based on market size.

        It's not quite so simple, as you point out.

        If you target one platform, you target PC's, unless the market for your application is graphic artists, musicians, etc., then you target Macs.

        This is the important part. You don't target based on the number of devices sold--the market share--you target based on the platform that your intended audience is using.

        Clearly, as an app developer, my intended audience is people with the willingness to part with money for my application, which is generally not the people who buy on the basis of price sensitivity.

        But even foregoing that, if I develop for iOS, I basically have to tarket 7 platforms, while if I develop for android, I have to target many hundreds of devices instead.

        Unless I'm Roxio, and my strategy is to own an app category on all devices, and I can afford it, due to an existing iPhone success, my ROI on dev

  • Interesting that the map shows Spain to be so solidly in the Android camp.

    I wonder if iOS is doing something funny there to skew the data, Apple has abandoned the market, or if it is local preference.

    https://www.mapbox.com/labs/tw... [mapbox.com]

    • by wanax (46819)

      Having recently been in Spain (with my unlocked iphone 4 in tow), I can tell you that the support for iphones (at least in Barcelona) is terrible. It took trips to 4 different stores to find an iphone 4 compatible prepaid mini-sim (if I had the iphone 5, I would have been SOL and had to pay for roaming data from my US plan). None of those stores prominently placed iphones (although they were available, at least through vodaphone, even the 5 new, but you couldn't use a prepaid sim in it).

      I tend to think that

      • by Windwraith (932426) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @01:50AM (#46667737)

        I can confirm this, and that's considering Barcelona is a hotter spot for Apple than other cities, where Apple only has a small corner in a number of shops. Their presence is growing slowly but steadily, but the market here usually prefers those local kiosks for availability and price, and they predominantly offer Android devices of most brands.
        Towns and cities with Apple Stores usually have only one of it, whereas there are dozens of sellers for Android devices scattered all over, predominantly in malls as you said.

        Offers are usually pretty cheap subsidized phones, and even for free with binding contracts, and they even renew your phone once every year in several cases, for minimal or no cost. However, as you probably realized, this stops being nice and shiny the moment there's any issue or nonstandard need whatsoever. Every side service, from tech support to repairs, is sub-par. Most people will go around with busted phones waiting for a renewal instead of bothering to repair it, which is notoriously complicated, requires a lot of time (and trips) and it usually ends just in replacing the thing entirely.

        The prices, the complicated repairs, and the large availability kind of created a culture of changing phones very regularly, even in people with limited income. Good repair shops exist, but they tend to be little electronics workshops in some little corner that you only learn about by word of mouth, and are only used when you are attached to your device for some reason (sentimental value, niche features, etc), or when someone wants to unlock a phone to use with other provider's SIM card.

    • Well most phone operators will give you deals for Android phones, not iPhones. Apple products have always been notoriously expensive for Spain. Also, Spain is quite impoverished right now, which doesn't help "luxury" things like an iPhone getting sold.

      Apple Stores only started having a presence well past the iPod days, so there isn't that much of a cult following for it as in other places. Of course there are regional differences, you will see more Apple presence (and following) on Madrid and Barcelona than

  • by iamacat (583406) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @01:31AM (#46667693)

    Most of human beings with access to Internet are using Android. They may not be spending most of the money right at this moment, but that is going to change very fast. Or, if your platform gets superseded by competition on iOS, alternative platforms may let you live to fight another day. Remember, Facebook didn't pay 19 billion for $1/year revenues of WhatsApp.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @04:53AM (#46668187)

    It's pretty hypocritical to use iOS usage to illustrate "the economic divide", since "economic divide" and "inequality" is the rallying cry of the modern American left. Those wealthy iPhone users are also much more likely to be "liberals".

    http://blog.chron.com/techblog... [chron.com]

    What that illustrates again is that many so-called "liberals" are using the supposed plight of the less well off as a smokescreen to advance their own agendas.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      What are you talking about? iPhone users are more likely to be Republican than Democrat. They are more likely to be social liberals but that has nothing to do with economic policy. There is nothing hypocritical from decrying the economic divide regardless of whether you are benefiting from it. The hypocrisy would be to claim to decry it in general and then to rebel against most all specific policies to correct it.

      • by stenvar (2789879)

        What are you talking about? iPhone users are more likely to be Republican than Democrat.

        Read the f*ing link.

        There is nothing hypocritical from decrying the economic divide regardless of whether you are benefiting from it.

        Of course it's hypocritical to say "making lots money is bad" and "the rich are corrupting the political process" when you yourself are making lots of money and are rich.

        And there is no "divide"; the income distribution is smooth with a long tail, and year after year it shifts to the right.

  • by tqk (413719) <s.keeling@mail.com> on Saturday April 05, 2014 @02:09PM (#46670997)

    I currently have five moderator points ("Use 'em or lose 'em."). I think I'll use 'em to down-mod the very article/submission.

    -5 Flamebait.

  • "People with more money, on average buy things that are more expensive. News at 11."

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