In the previous week, we featured an analysis by Asymco based on IBM research that points to an interesting phenomenon in the mobile industry in the U.S. While Android market share is on the rise, its engagement rate is not growing as fast as with the other leading mobile platform, notably iOS. While Asymco did not venture to give an exact reason as to this so-called engagement paradox, a few possible explanations were offered.
These include the possibly disparity in income levels, given that the barrier to entry to the iPhone is higher, with all the inexpensive, entry-level devices running Android. This does not mean that Android users earn less in general, but that people who opt for cheap Android phones may not exactly be getting the same experience as those using more expensive higher-end devices. Also, the analysis did not discount the fact that the more popular Android phones are not exactly cheap — take the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 for instance, which are considered premium devices.
Tech Thoughts dug deeper into the analysis, and brought in additional figures from NetApplications. Here are a few highlights:
In essence, while the earlier analysis by Asymco left out any possible cause for the so-called engagement paradox, Tech Thoughts says it’s likely to have been influenced by limitations related to OS versions. Yes, Android shipments and activations are growing, and yes, users are not as active in their browsing and online purchase activities as with iOS. But that’s probably because many of these devices are lower-end Android smartphones that don’t exactly give users an excellent browsing experience.
If you’ve experienced browsing using different devices — from low-end to high-end, and with different screen sizes and OS versions — would you agree with this interpretation?