Fail: A Study on App User Preference

by: Christine TorralbaDecember 29, 2011
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So basically, it can be summarized that Android users are the more ‘mature’ market compared to iOS. This analogy is based on a recently conducted study by Xyologic, a company which specializes in app discoveries and hunts. The topic of the study was the app preferences of both iPhone and Android users; the results of which lead to a conclusion that the ‘iPhone is for games, Android is for apps.’

The study was done on the top 150 downloaded apps from the Android App Market and compared to its equivalent number from iPhone App Store downloads. The company studied the downloading habits of users in November and as such, discovered some pretty interesting insights. Out of the top 150 downloaded from the Android App Market, 85 of them were apps while the remaining were games. On the other hand, the iPhone store a number of 100 downloaded games and just 50 apps.

The data collected paints a very interesting conclusion on how users make use of their devices. However, there is a discriminating flaw to the methodology used by Xyologic. While they gathered the overall top 150 Android downloads, they only collected the iPhone’s top 150 free apps. This led the company to exclude an important factor on iPhone apps, considering these were divided into categories—iPad apps, paid apps and free apps. The study was only made in comparison to one segment of iPhone app store downloads.

Noticing this, Xyologic replied:

‘Please note that all the app [sic] in the Android Top 150 are free apps. Hence this is a comparison of free US Android Market apps with free US Apple App Store iPhone apps.’

Considering that some Android counterparts of iPhone apps are free, this still proves to be an unfair comparison. Instead of revealing an interesting study, Xyologic has only produced a confusing result—which only revealed that compared to iPhone users, Android users are less willing to purchase their apps.

The study also collected a significant increase in game downloads as compared to last year’s number—79 out of 150 from iPhone and 34 from Android.


  • Here is Matthaus from Xyologic.

    We haven’t compared the top overall Android downloads to a narrow subset of iOS downloads. We have compared the exactly same data sets. As always we are 100% transparent on our sources. You can view the complete lists by downloading our free Top Apps reports here.

    If you compare top download lists of paid apps our argument is even stronger. Please view the data above for your self.

    Also, there is no singificant number of tablet-only Android apps. As Andy Rubin said Android does not believe in tablet-only apps. We posted on this before:

    Please don’t repeat faulty statements from other blogs without looking at the data sets we are giving out to everyone for free.

  • Bbman335

    The logic and reasoning of this article is worse than what they accuse the actual study of doing. How can you actually read this and then conclude “which only revealed that compared to iPhone users, Android users are less willing to purchase their apps.” HUH? That was revealed where? Since both data sets were for free apps, this can hardly be a justifiable conclusion. Hack of an article.