It’s fun, though. That’s why Apple’s customers are often described as ‘sheeple,’ a mixture of sheep (followers, not leaders) and people. What should we think of accusations that customers who own cheaper Android products are simply poor?
What The Numbers Mean
Math is math. There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. And just as myths have their origin in truth, when it comes to the battles between Apple and Google, math has a story to tell.
According to Google, customers of Android devices number about 1-billion. Current estimates put Apple’s iOS device customer base at less than half that number.
So much for Android having 80-percent of the world’s smartphone and tablet marketshare, huh?
What’s interesting with those numbers is the number of apps available for both platforms. They’re about the same at 1.2-million for Google Play and Apple’s App Store, though the latter pays four times as much money to app developers as the former.
What can we tell from those numbers? Apple’s iOS customers buy more apps, while Google’s Android customer buy less. Similarly, Apple’s iOS devices are sold to customers with more disposable income, while Google’s Android-based devices are sold to three wildly disparate groups.
The Have’s And Have Not’s
The first is the technologically savvy customer; the few who populate the technorati elite, who love tweaking their smartphones as much as the average iPhone and iPad customer loves to buy apps and simply use the device. This is a small percentage of the Android base.
The second is the less technically savvy customer, the one that gravitates toward the lowest possible price, seldom use their devices for much more than phone calls, email, texting, and browsing (with the occasional free game thrown in). This is a large percentage of the Android base.
The third group, which makes up more than half of all Android-based smartphone and tablet purchases, buy devices which do not live in Google’s Android ecosystem. That means the Google Play store is not available to those users.
Those customers may own cheap smartphones, but they’re really nothing more than expensive feature phones with smartphone capabilities. This group, by far, is the largest percentage in the Android base.
That segmentation explains the difference between Apple’s iOS customer base and Google’s Android OS customer base. Overall, Apple’s iOS base is unified (most running the latest OS version), well educated, more affluent, use their devices for more purposes.
Conversely, the Android OS customer base is highly fragmented, with few users running the latest version of the OS, and, in general, less educated, less affluent, and for the two largest groups in the customer base, use their devices far less than their Apple counterparts.
The differences between the two platforms and their respective customers bases is striking and explains why Apple owns about 70-percent of the smartphone and tablet industry’s profits, while Google continues to subsidize their Android operation with profits from search engine advertising.