Monday, November 14, 2011

Android, Where Art Thou?

At work, we have a large client for whom we develop an application for on both the Android and the iPhone.  We have driven a lot of downloads of the application without any use of paid media, so far, but most interestingly is the ratio of iPhone downloads vs. Android downloads, where there are 1.6 times as many iPhone downloads than Android.  So, I started to dig into this mystery.

First, if I look at more instantaneous data, the weekly downloads were equal.  So, maybe while early on in the apps life, before the sales of Android devices grew and surpassed iPhone sales, the iPhone installed base grew big.  Second, maybe the demographics of this client's customers are more skewed towards iPhone ownership?  Hey, although we have not used paid media to get any of the downloads, maybe the marketing is more skewed towards iPhone owners somehow.  Dunno.

With Android commanding almost 1.5 times more market share, however, it needs more explanation.  When I was back at The Nielsen Company, we had a set of data we had collected, which did not specifically show, but implied, that there still are swaths of Android owners that don't know they have an Android phone.  It was the free phone with the 2-year contract, or buy-one-get-one-free with their spouses new phone when they switched carriers.   They have a Porsche on the Autobahn, but still are driving the speed limit.

If this is true, it might explain the lower usage on Android devices vs. iPhone and could also explain this download phenomena, as well.

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