Are Android and iOS users really that different?


2 minute read
Alumni: Kieron Gurner

Alumni: Kieron Gurner

UX & Design Lead

Digital Insights

At the start of this year, we had a look at the difference between Android and iOS user behaviour, so as we near the start of another year, we ask… are Android and iOS users really that different??

More Android devices are being sold worldwide

Worldwide, around 71% of devices sold were running Android operating system, compared to 21% running Apple.

The markets are quite dispersed worldwide though, with Japanese sales of Apple devices at 76% – but at a tiny 4% in Spain, compared to 90% Spanish Android sales. These likely reflect the vast difference in device costs, as iPhones are still retailing much higher than Android.

But there’s (still) more money made from iOS

Even though the number of iOS devices are far out-shadowed by that of Android devices, people are still spending more money to get their hands on an iOS device, and more money on apps once they get them.

In the USA, Adobe announced that combined Black Friday and Thanksgiving sales totalled $543 Million for iOS devices, whilst Android earned $148 Million.

iOS users are still spending (on average) more money on apps as well, with iOS developers earning 5 times more revenue than their Android peers. This ensures that more developers spend more time on iOS apps than they do with Android.

iOS users are more engaged with their devices

Even though the figures show a lot more people own and use Android devices, we also see that iOS users browse the web more, spend about three-times more money online and read a lot more digital magazines (97% on iOS).

Tablet ownership is pretty even in the USA, with 52% of tablet-owners having iPads, against 48% on Android – but iPad users account for 90% of the web traffic for tablets.


There’s no conclusive answers as to why this is, but quality of experience is likely to be a part of the cause. With Android devices becoming available at lower prices, quality of the design, hardware and software are bound to suffer, and as long as Apple is focusing on only producing high-end retail units, the volume gap isn’t likely to close (the cheaper iPhone 5c still costs $549.00 without a contract).

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