You might wonder, what are the characteristics of the typical Android phone user as opposed to the typical iPhone users? Here is the result of my observation from both on-line observations and off-line idle chats and questions.
- Open-source fans, hackers, makers, and mobile hobbyist. These people made the conscious decision of buying Android, either for tinkering or that they need exclusive Android applications. Exclusive meaning that these kind of applications will not be available for the iPhone in the near future; either due to technical reasons or blocked by Apple’s review policies.
- Technology-ignorant people who make purchasing decisions based on price alone. Android phones have a wider price range and some telephone companies are offering the lower end models at near-zero prices (subsidized by long-term mobile phone contracts).
That second bullet point alone explains why Android users tend to be more price sensitive than iPhone users. Open-source die-hards tend to be price-sensitive too, noting that their figurehead Richard Stallman uses a cheap Lemote Yeelong computer.
- Highly visual people who like nice-looking things. This fits the typical Apple customer (read: fanboy/fangirl). They like iPhone because of its smooth animations, gorgeous look, and well thought user experience.
- Herd behavior or peer pressure. These people bought an iPhone because their friends also have it. In other words, they bought the iPhone due to the “cool” factor and simply want to conform to the crowd.
Surprised? Not surprised?
Of course, like any other stereotyping there are exceptions. I explicitly exclude these other people from the stereotypes above.
- Dedicated developers on both platforms. They use a phone because they need to develop on it and want a user’s view experience to help them develop applications that integrate well with the operating system and other applications of the platform.
- Users of company phones. The places that they work for decided what phone to use, and probably the company paid for it.
- People who work for Google, Apple, or Microsoft, and their affiliates. That includes Android manufacturers such as Samsung or Sony. The reason for bias is clear here, no clarifications needed.
You probably think, “citations needed.” Not much citation, I’m afraid. This is based solely on my un-scientific observations. However, if you do have a more concrete un-biased research, please do post links in the comments.