Mobile Users Prefer Android Over iPhone
When it comes to choosing their next phone, mobile users would opt for Android phones over the iPhone by a two-to-one margin, according to a new global survey. The study commissioned by multiplatform app store GetJar found that about 40% of respondents would switch to Android when they buy their next handset, compared to 18% that want the iPhone.
The findings appear to underscore the growing popularity of the Google mobile operating system -- which pushed ahead of BlackBerry in January to become the top smartphone platform in the U.S., with 31.2% market share, according to comScore.
A separate survey by ChangeWave last fall found that a growing proportion of consumers wanted an Android phone as their next device -- about the same share that wanted an iPhone (37% versus 38%). The iPhone had a 24.7% share. Recent data from ABI Research, however, showed the Apple device still dominates app downloads, racking up 5.6 billion in 2010 against 7.9 billion total from all app stores.
"The survey results make it clear that all eyes are on Android, as well as the importance of brand equity in the increasingly competitive mobile app space," stated Patrick Mork, CMO of GetJar, which has 1.5 billion downloads to date. In landing $25 million in venture funding last month, the company said it aimed to "aggressively expand" its offerings for Android devices to serve as an alternative to Google's own Android Market. Considering that the survey results fit neatly with that strategy, don't take the findings favoring Android by a wide margin literally.
GetJar isn't alone in trying to capitalize on Android's rapid growth. Amazon today unveiled its own Android-focused app store, launching with 3,800 titles, including a pair of exclusive apps from "Angry Birds" creator Rovio.
In addition to Android, GetJar provides apps for other platforms, including iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Symbian. But there are limits to its openness. Earlier this month, Getjar booted the Opera Mini browser app from its storefront after Opera Software launched its own cross-platform app store within the browser.
Beyond device selection, the GetJar study also found that 58% of mobile users use apps more than once a day, and 23% spend 31 minutes to an hour a day with apps. Eight in 10 said the quality of a company's app makes that brand more trustworthy, while 72% were more likely to engage with a brand if it had a good app. (Doesn't using the app already qualify as "engaging" with the brand?)
Looking at attitudes toward advertising, 73% have downloaded an app with advertising in it, and almost 60% said they'd do it again. Despite the growing number of app storefronts, only one-quarter of survey participants found the app they were looking for through an actual app store. Nearly half discovered apps while browsing online and almost 17% found them through friends or social media.
Among other findings, gaming titles are the most popular category, followed closely by social-networking apps. Cost is the biggest factor in deciding whether to buy an app, and likewise, free apps and ease of search are the two features that consumers rate highest in an app store.