Android Is From Mars, iPhone Is From Venus?

What was the most important lesson I learned during the fun, informative three days of peace, love and mobile at the Mobile Insider Summit last week in Lake Tahoe? After all, in addition to a full slate of informed panelists, we had killer prezzos from Initiative's Eric Bader, MMA's Michael Becker, Android development lead and CTO Steve Horowitz, Steve Madden's Drew Koven, and Isobar's Gene Keenan.

Predictions for the coming year were flying off the stage as everyone got into the spirit of the Summit's "Next-Steps Agenda" theme. The roundtables were buzzing with shared experiences and frustrations, commiserations and collaborations. In the coming weeks I will be sharing some of the details. But after all of this, the one point that stands out most all for me is this:

When going to industry events, even in beautiful resort locations, don't bring the fiancée.

"Why haven't you married her yet?," Drew Koven asked as I happened upon them on the "Tahoe Gal" cruise of the lake. How the hell did this happen? Of all the fires an event organizer has to put out along the way to a show, this is one blaze I didn't see coming. Just my luck, Koven himself is getting hitched in a couple of weeks and had succeeded in digging a hole for me that only got deeper as the days progressed.



I should have just tied myself to a cinder block and tossed it overboard at that point, because things only got worse. We had dinner with another of our guests and his lovely girlfriend the next night and it turns out they were moving in together in two days. But wait, there is more. As we were preparing to leave the Tahoe Hyatt resort on Saturday, wouldn't you know it but we happened upon a bridal party (one of two scheduled for that weekend at the Hyatt) as they took pictures of the bride in the lobby.

My significantly better (and incredibly patient) half had by that point stopped underscoring the obvious and just shot me a 'you are so screwed' look. "Oh, look, other people who have found time in their busy schedule to get married in under a decade."

Where's the lake?

Maybe our disagreement over a suitable engagement period has to do with the fact that she is packing a Droid and I carry an iPhone? Yeah, that must be it. I am going to go with that. According to, the differences between Google Android users and iPhone owners could be just as wide as the gender gulf. In a fun bit of data mining, the maker of the Grocery IQ app on iPhone and Android compared coupon use across the platforms. The app is a shopping list that has been downloaded over 1 million times.

According to the data, there is a weird gender or culture divide in categories like body wash products where iPhone owners favored women's body wash eight times more than the same coupon on the Android app. When it comes to magazines, Android users indexed higher on news and iPhone owners were 2.3 times more likely to get entertainment magazines.

Food? Android-ers went for pork ribs almost twice as often as iPhoners, who were six times as likely to prefer chicken. In personal care, iPhone users were all about parenting, favoring baby product 41 times more than Android users, who in turn were twice as likely to use coupons for pain relievers. Even the pets category showed a stark difference, with Android users 3.6 times more likely than iPhoners to go for bird food, while iPhone indexed fish food 26 times higher than Android.

What do we make of anecdotal data like this? Probably not much, although there is an air of truth to it. Intuitively, it always seemed to me that the Android had more of a geeky pocket-protector ambiance to it than the iPhone. Most of my engineering and IT friends get excited over the next oversized Android-powered brick of a phone. A lot of them still have their Palm Pilot holsters in a drawer somewhere.

Google still can't help itself from expressing its core engineer-driven culture at every turn. My fiancée hasn't finally chosen the Droid yet, as I was loaning her mine while in Tahoe in order for her to stay in touch while she hiked. I find the Droid interface cluttered and cold myself. But she, a computer scientist and programmer, is warming up to it.

In fact, we got a taste of Google culture in Tahoe. "There are many geeky guys with Google t-shirts hiking," she texted me as she walked in the Tahoe hills. Apparently, the company was having a secret retreat of some kind for a chunk of staff at our own hotel. "They were in the middle of this beautiful landscape," she told me, "and all I could hear them talk about was database structures. They were pretty oblivious."

"They didn't look very married, either," she added. Maybe I am packing the wrong phone.

2 comments about "Android Is From Mars, iPhone Is From Venus? ".
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  1. Kurt Johansen from Johansen International, August 31, 2010 at 10:56 p.m.

    I love this post Steve. I am an ANDROID. I know it's a big confession but I am not interested in Apps. So, don't worry about me accessing Coupons via Mobile Phones but via Emails - Well that's another story. Cheers Kurt Australia's Email Marketing Strategist -

  2. James Briggs from Briabe Media, September 2, 2010 at 3:33 p.m.

    Great piece. This possibly explains why I dislike my iPhone so, besides all the bugs, the dropped calls, etc. But if you really look at the marketing of the two phones this should come as no surprise that the iPhone is position more towards the general audience while the Androids devices are positioned at young men.

    Verizon's Droid commercials are exactly the type that you see for big budget, techie movies. And who attend them.. men.

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