Joshua Schnell, November 14, 2010
There’s been a lot of speculation about the lack of iPhone on Verizon and the influence that it’s had on Android as a platform. Some suggest that the lack of an iPhone on America’s “other” network is the major reason why Android took off in the US. There’s been no hard proof either way, so we’ve been left with hunches and gut calls.
MyPhoneDeals has spent some time investigating iPhone and Android users’ satisfaction, and they’ve stumbled on some interesting data that may support the “lack of iPhone on Verizon” philosophy. While Android is obviously a platform that Apple shouldn’t be taking lightly,with 25.5 percent of the Global market according to Gartner, it seems like a large chunk of Android fans aren’t completely happy with their purchasing decision. That large chunk is pretty big— approximately 33 percent.
MyPhoneDeals has found that as many as one-third of Android users would “much rather have an iPhone.” Only seven percent of iPhone users publicly admitted that they wanted an Android device. Additionally, “Android owners [were] some four times more likely to covet an iPhone than iPhone owners were to desire an Android handset.”
But, before you run off to Twitter exclaiming an iPhone victory, you should probably know that the study sample size was only 524 people, which is not exactly huge.
Don’t you just love statistics.
One of two things could be at play here. First, it could be network availability. Most people aren’t willing to switch carriers just to get a new phone. My experiences with Rogers has been less than good, and had I not already been on the network, I probably wouldn’t have signed up to get an iPhone. Now that the phone is available in an unlocked state in Canada, and available on multiple carriers, anyone can buy the phone should they want it. The problem with this assumption is that MyPhoneDeals is based out of the UK, where multiple carriers already have access to the phone. So it’s not easy to pin the findings from MyPhoneDeals on terrible exclusivity deals. MyPhoneDeals conducted their research in a market that is not synonymous with the conditions in the US. So we can strike this one off the list.
The second issue at play here is marketing, much like PC Pro suggested in their article, and it certainly seems like the most likely scenario. I can’t remember the last time I saw an Android commercial and thought to myself, “I must have that.” I have that must-have moment quite a bit when I see tech commercials on TV. Android commercials have yet to evoke that response. Most of the time I can’t tell if I’m watching a commercial for some new Star Wars sequel, or a commercial for a phone.
Apple on the other hand is an obvious marketing mastermind, and they lay it all out on the table during their 30 second commercial spots. Apple gets that the iPhone isn’t just about the phone — it’s also about the applications. The iPhone is a conduit to an amazing array of software. It’s not a coincidence that Apple shows off applications during their commercials. It’s a win-win situation for Apple. They show you what kind of applications you can use on a daily basis, and in the process show you the phone’s capabilities. People want what they know, and it’s no surprise that people know a lot more about the iPhone than the HTC Desire. Apple makes sure they answer all your questions in every commercial alongside their “cool” approach to showing off the device. Again, I hate to beat a dead horse, but no Android phone has done that effectively yet.
Is Android popular because it’s a great mobile OS, or is Android popular because people don’t realize what they’re buying when they buy it? The 33 percent of people who want an iPhone may be evidence that it’s more of the latter than the former.
We’d love to hear you thoughts on the findings by MyPhoneDeals in the comments.Follow @macgasm