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Android users are promiscuous hillbillies, iPhones are for the rich and hip -- so suggests two new surveys

A set of new surveys both seem to reach a similar conclusion about Android: it's for those that can't afford Apple. Of course, we all know this is a bunch of BS.

Published onMay 8, 2014


This morning started like any other work day. I got up and started reading my email, I then followed up with checking various news feeds and other sources to get a better grasp at what’s going on in the world of Android. It wasn’t much more than thirty minutes into my day that I was made aware of not one but two surveys that essentially paint iPhone users as wealthy and hip, while more or less calling us Android fans a bunch of promiscuous hillbillies.

Okay, neither survey directly called us by such names, but they sure seemed to imply it. The worst offender is the survey from dating site, which says it examined more than 20 million interactions between nearly 14,000 of its mobile users in the USA in order to answer the question of which mobile brand’s singles are the most desirable. Rather predictably, the answer was those who rock the iPhone.

iPhone users live the high-life, Android users are poor and uneducated

So what makes iPhone users so much more desirable, at least according to the ‘experts’ behind this survey? For one thing, iPhone users aren’t nearly as promiscuous as us pesky Android users. Reportedly iOS users were contacted 17% more often than Android users, while us Android fans were 12% more likely than iOS users to contact someone on AYI. The conclusion is that iOS users must be more desirable, and Android users are lonely and desperate.

Taking an even deeper look at how Android and iPhone owners contrast, AYI found that Android users tend to be slightly older, with 42% ages 45-60. Meanwhile, 67% of iOS users on AYI are under 45. Furthermore, Android users aren’t nearly as wealthy, with 30% of them likely to make under $60,000 a year.

The conclusion is that iOS users must be more desirable, and Android users are lonely and desperate.

As for iOS users? A massive 83% of these singles are bringing in over $150k yearly. AYI’s survey also indicates iOS users are twice as likely to have a Master’s degree and 55% more likely to have a Bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, 72% of Android users haven’t completed college.

The final gem dug up by this survey indicates that Android daters are 33% more likely to have children and 20% more likely to be divorced. Curiously, however, iOS daters are more likely to drink, do drugs and exercise. So no drugs, alcohol or money for us in the Android camp, but if the survey is correct we’re probably too busy doing the nasty to notice.


Own Android? You’re stuck on the bus

Now to be fair, Battery Ventures’ research was a bit more mild than what AYI delivered. Based on their findings they have concluded that iPhone users are more likely to drink wine than beer, they also own stock and have flown on a plane in the past year.

Meanwhile in the land of Android, we tend to take the bus, like to eat McDonalds at least on a monthly basis, and are more likely be describe ourselves as religious. There’s also reportedly more smokers in the Android camp. Battery Ventures does note something very important, however, and that’s the fact that most of these differences in travel choices and other decisions tend to go away when the user base is adjusted for income.


The message is the same in both surveys, but is it accurate?

While one report focuses more on dating habits (and probably isn’t meant to be 100% serious) and the other on travel and eating habits, they both pretty much deliver the same message: Apple users are more affluent than Android users. This is a sentiment that we’ve heard echoed a million times before, heck, this is something that Apple’s most hardcore users have used to start more than one flame war in various comment sections around the web.

Both reports deliver the same message: Apple users are more affluent than Android users

But is there any truth to the claim? Honestly the answer is probably yes, but only to a certain point. The reality is that Android is everywhere. Google’s popular OS controlled 52% of the US smartphone market during Q1 2014, and impressively enjoys nearly 80% of the global smartphone marketshare.

There’s also hundreds upon hundreds of different Android handsets, many of which are marketed towards budget-minded users both in the United States and throughout the globe. That means we as Android users represent folks from all different walks of life and don’t just cater to the select few. We have the nerds, we have the hipsters, we have those struggling to pay rent, we have those swimming in money — that’s the magic of Android. There’s plenty of choice and the ability to make the experience your own.


Where’s the detailed reports comparing high-income Apple users to high-income Android users?

While Battery Ventures was kind enough to indicate that many of the differences between Apple and Android users disappear when income levels are adjusted, it seems that most surveys tend to focus more on the ‘big picture’ Android versus the iPhone.

I’d be more curious as to what devices Android users in the $100k+ income range tend to favor, additionally I’d like to know more about how many of these users exist when compared to the actual number of wealthy iPhone users. I think many consumers (Apple fans in particular) would be surprised at the results.

Of course, it’s more fun and sensationalist to ignore all of this and instead give us random correlations and anecdotal evidence.

Apple as a status symbol

While I admittedly have no solid information to back it up — because no analyst seems to want to go there — I have a feeling that there might be slightly more high-income individuals with an iPhone than devices like the Galaxy S5, HTCOne (M8) and LG G2. But that doesn’t mean that Android is for the poor and the iPhone is for the rich.

Apple isn’t necessarily for the rich, but it is favored among those that care about status symbols.

I suspect if we were to somehow do a head count of the number of Android users across the globe that make over $100k and compare it to the exact number of iPhone users in this income bracket, they would come pretty close to being equal. Instead, most polls and surveys focus on the percentage of iPhone users over $100k versus the percentage of Android users over $100k. When you throw in all the budget users and users from emerging markets, this is going to obviously skew things in Apple’s favor.

So what’s my point? Basically, it’s that Apple isn’t necessarily for the rich, but it is favored among those that care about status symbols. The folks that buy $300+ pairs of sunglasses and have a closet full of $500+ designer outfits are probably much more likely to buy Apple. This comes down mostly to marketing, something that Apple is admittedly very good at.

For those that care about functionality, performance and value over status symbol? Android will continue to remain the top dog into the foreseeable future. I also wouldn’t be too surprised if there are a number of folks in the Android camp that make over $100k and yet don’t rock a flagship device, simply because it goes beyond their individual needs.

Should we be insulted when a survey says that Apple devices are for the rich? Not really.

Bottom-line, both platforms have their own advantages and disadvantages, they are also somewhat marketed at different groups. In the long run, all that really matters if that you find the platform that best meets your needs. Should we be insulted when a survey says that Apple devices are for the rich? Not really, all that matters is that Android is for us.

If someone wants to live in a walled garden without the freedom to install 3rd party app stores, custom launchers or even ROMs — they have that right, and we shouldn’t try to stop them. That’s just not what we want. Still it would be nice if more surveys gave us clearer pictures by comparing specific demographics, regions and perhaps age groups instead of trying to paint a picture of Android and iOS users that is likely not all that accurate for most of us.

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