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Many Potential iPhone Users Settling for Android

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According to research from, the iPhone (s aapl) is causing cases of mobile device envy in almost a third of Android (s goog) 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 (s vz).

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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22 Responses to “Many Potential iPhone Users Settling for Android”

  1. ericbikeco

    I have had an Android phone for over 6 months, sought out an Android phone, and will not switch from an Android phone. Steve Jobs can hand me a free iCrap personally and I would not take it. I also HAD AT&T (for more than 15 years BTW) and my first goal was to get rid of them … because their effort seemingly is solely spent on iDouches with iPhones. MEH to your both!

  2. Conjecture… Users care about getting things done. They care about connecting to their friends. Does it have a Facebook app? They care about music. Does it have Pandora. Camera?

    Most people I see are getting Android devices, and are happier with them than with the Storms or lesser devices that the had before. Last night a new Android owner couldn’t stop complaining about how their Storm would constantly crash. The Samsung was pretty nice!

    I own an iPhone, but could easily get by with a decent Android device. Since I constantly test devices, the Dell Streak was not bad, even with 1.6. Hipstamatic is probably my number one reason not to switch. The OS will matter less and less.

  3. Jahan Khan Rashid

    Being from the UK i have some interesting info. Carphone warehouse, one of the biggest mobile phone sellers for all networks in the UK in the last few years they were iphone centric, iphone was splattered all over the place. Most of the Big carphone warehouses have now been modernised and refitted, now everything is clearly labeled for new customers wether the phone is android, rim, symbian or ios operated. BUT you will find it very hard to find the iphones in these newly fitted stores, they really have been shoved into a dark corner. Android is now splattered everywhere and is really in your face. I really do think that iphone sales will not go up by much next year. Not in the UK anyway.

    Or if im wrong then the iphone doesnt need to be advertised!!

  4. All very good to bang on about retina display and the plethora of apps and who is behind who with their OS, and while I can’t comment on the various brands on Android-powered devices, I can say that Apple still has real problems with the actual phone part of its iPhone. Obvious ‘antennae’ and ‘bars’ issues aside, its still not a great phone, with drop-outs and tinny sound common. Heck, even Apple’s own TV ads for iPhone mention nothing about the phone part of the device.

    Lusting after an Apple Content Delivery Device and gaming console more than a phone? Do yourself a favour and get a Touch (or, if money isn’t the reason you’re ‘stuck’ with an Android or are just truly desperate, a first Gen iPad) and a cheap cell phone.

    Seems ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’ still holds true for smartphones.

  5. It’s not just about the phone itself, but also its connector. How many accessories are there for a Samsung Galaxy S, or an HTC Hero, or even the G1 phone.
    Can you buy a good doxk in a nice wooden case with some serious kisk ass speakers for you desk for these androids? Can you have your choice of rubber, leather, wood cases, custom decals?
    Iphone has enough devices of the same form factro in the market it is worth these other gear manufacturers making kit for the iPhone/iPad market.
    Then there is just the smooh operation. Only the best of the Androids feel anywhere near as smooth to use as an iPhone4. Only the HTC Winfone7 actualy comes closest at the moment, and surprise, it’s a brand new phone, competing with something designed 6 months ago.
    I’m sure the next round of iOS gear will be even faster, but PLEASE Apple, give me wireless synch for music and movies!

  6. Cupertino Engineer

    No doubt the iPhone is still superior, especially their apps, while most Android apps are mere copies/clones of the Apple apps with little to no innovation whatsoever. Android is basically copycat phone, except for is huge base of Pornographic users (Android is widely known as the Porn Phone of choice worldwide).

    The user experience is so much more refined,polished and consistent compared to the Hungarian goulash that represent the current state of Android.

    There will always be a few Benedict Arnold’s in the iOS world (Kevin & James at jkontherun come to mind) but most would never want to leave to go to a weaker platform.

    Finally, I predict the iPhone will set sales records next year (100+ Million) due to offering in more countries and more carriers (Big Red, etc).

    If you want a Porno Phone then go with Android, otherwise best to hookup with Steve, the smartest man in the room, who sleeps mightly well these days on his pillow of $52 BILLION IN CA$H with no debts. ENVY IS INDEED THE CORRECT WORD.


    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. “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?

  12. 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.

    • Cupertino Engineer

      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.

  13. 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.

    • Wang Hung Lo

      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.

  14. 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.

    • 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.

  15. Cold Water

    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.

  16. 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.