According to research from MyPhoneDeals.co.uk, the iPhone is causing cases of mobile device envy in almost a third of Android owners surveyed. That’s a lot of users toting around a second-choice smartphone, considering Android’s growing user base. How can Apple capitalize?

Android iOS Battle

According to research from MyPhoneDeals.co.uk, the iPhone is causing cases of mobile device envy in almost a third of Android owners surveyed. That’s a lot of users toting around a second-choice smartphone, considering Android’s growing user base.

The report found that nearly 30 percent of Android users surveyed would rather have an iPhone. Many users indicated that price is the only barrier holding them back. “I think it’s telling that so many Android owners desire, yet don’t own an iPhone, which I believe points to price being the prohibitive factor,” a spokesperson for MyPhoneDeals told PC Pro. Another contributing factor is network choice, though that may change soon with the arrival of a Verizon iPhone.

On the flip side, only 7 percent of iPhone users would consider jumping to the Android side of the fence. “I think the biggest problem Android-based smartphones face is that they’re constantly playing catch-up to the iPhone. Every time Apple does something new the competition follows, which makes the iPhone always seem the most innovative product.” While in fact Apple was actually behind on several major OS features, such as multi-tasking, the unique innovations they do introduce, like the App Store and the Retina Display, have apparently kept them ahead of the game, at least in terms of user perception.

Only 16 percent of those not currently on any platform indicated that they’d seek out an Android phone. Yet 40 percent of smartphones sold during the past quarter were Android devices. Why? Mainly because Android OS runs on a variety of devices, while Apple OS is exclusively on the iPhone. “Android still faces a lack of recognition among consumers, especially women. For example, many consumers may want a HTC Desire HD, yet are unaware that it’s running Android software.”

The bottom line for Apple? Lower prices and freedom of choice when it comes to carrier would draw many Android users into the iOS fold. But Cupertino should act soon, since as users grow used to and invest in a platform (via app purchases), it will become more and more difficult to win them back.

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  1. I’d have to disagree with the very last part. I don’t think most users care where there money is going when it comes to buying $1.99 apps. They probably don’t realize how much they’ve even spent on apps.

  2. I’m not sure how many of those innovations belong to Apple.

    When I bought a Sidekick II almost six years ago, it came preloaded with the Catalog application for purchasing ringtones, games, and other apps. Then again, it also had multitasking and push email.

    And while the “Retina Display” is pretty cool, it’s not the breathtaking leap like the 800×480 displays other phones have had since the beginning of the year.

  3. Price? Price is not a factor. Android phones are the same price — if not more — than iPhones!

    The ONLY factor in people choosing Android over iPhone is Android’s availability on all carriers in the United States. For example, nobody on AT&T would ever choose Android. But people who don’t want to leave Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile have no choice.

    1. Er, what?! Maybe this is a strangely unique situation to the US, but here in Ireland price differences between iPhone and Android are gapingly huge. Certainly, as a grad student price was the only factor that put the iPhone out of reach for me.

      iPhone: €209 + €40pcm
      Android: €20 + €30pcm

      Yes, that is not a typo: ten times cheaper initial purchase price and 25% lower monthly tariff.

  4. I unfortunately am 17 and still live at home and have absolutely no choice but to cursed with sprint and their teriible battery drained in five minutes EVO. I yearn every single day to have an iphone 4 but unfortunately i am still stuck with one of the worst operating systems i have ever used in my entire life but i guess it the best that sprints got for now. BUt one day i will break away from my sprint and android loving family and finally be graced with the everyday use of an iphone 4.

    1. Agreed the EVO is a battery whore. You could turn off all its cool features like JK does with his EVO to eek out more batt life, but it kinda defeats the whole purpose of getting a “smart” phone if you have to dumb it down to conserve go juice.

  5. I love Apple but I’m actually considering moving to Android. I have a 3G and ever since iOS4, it’s less than impressive. I’m holding out on getting iPhone 4 til they open up to Verizon, but I messed with a friends Android and was quite impressed. I’d upgrade but I don’t want to be locked in with ATT for 2 more years.

    Apps are great but I have an iPad for those and would rather have a phone that’s more reliable. Since I got my iPad, the need to an iPhone has dramatically decreased.

    Will I stay on an iPhone if they open up to Verizon, probably, but I’m tired of a sluggish phone in the interim.

    1. Don’t go Benedict Arnold on Apple just yet. (JKOnTheRun folks wrote the book on being Apple traitors)
      Early 2011 will be your time, Big Red will take care of your iPhone4 fix and Apple will have your new improved iPad ready as well. Yep, 2011 is shaping up to be the Apple’s record sales year for all their mobile goodness to the masses.
      Be smart and wait just a little longer and you will be glad you did. Boom.

      1. Must be tough to lose one’s job right before Christmas.

  6. “Another contributing factor is network choice, though that may change soon with the arrival of a Verizon iPhone.”
    That isn’t really relevant in this survey since it is done in the UK, right?

  7. I am with Verizon and I have been out of a contract for six months. I am holding out for the iPhone but my 2.5 year old phone may not last (the screen is sometimes does not work) so I might have to settle for an Android phone, meh.
    I wish they would announce it soon already.

  8. I owned an iPhone 3GS and an iPhone. I do keep tracks of my expenditure on apps I purchased whether they are free or paid. Even if Android phones would become the best phone, I would not switch to it because of the app I have already purchased and felt comfortable with. I don’t see Android phones will become better than iPhone in many aspects.

  9. I’m locked into Sprint (a special and unbeatable pricing plan) so I got an Android in August. I hate it. Nearly every day I say “Stupid phone, just work. I wish I had an iPhone”. Android might be great, if you’re buying the latest and greatest – if not, don’t even bother with Android. Regardless, I still would rather have a phone that works.

  10. I was hoping HP Palm would have stepped up with Pre update that had some next gen horsepower but it didn’t:( So I have to settle for this crappy Android phone. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so buggy (serious flaws!) and had a better virtual keyboard. I’ve tried all the addons and they still suck compared to the iPhone. Oh well my contract isn’t up yet so maybe Gingerbread will make it better.

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