Monday, December 30, 2013

iPhones and Social Class

Will Barratt, Ph.D.

In case you were wondering, Yes, there is a difference between iOS / Apple users and Android users.

According to Forbes Android made up 81% of devices shipped in Q3 2013.  Without question there are more Android phones and tablets on the market than iOS phones and tablets.  iOS and Android appeal to different market shares.

According to IBM Digital Analytics on 26 December, 2013 “iOS vs. Android: As a percentage of total online sales, iOS was more than five times higher than Android, driving 23 percent vs. 4.6 percent for Android. On average, iOS users spent $93.94 per order, nearly twice that of Android users, who spent $48.10 per order.  iOS also led as a component of overall traffic with 32.6 percent vs. 14.8 percent for Android.”

iOS users shop more and when they buy they spend more.

There it is.  Apple users, both phones and tablets, are the rich people.

But wait, it is more complicated.  Just because Apple users shop more spend more money doesn't make them richer, it only means that they shop more and spend more money.  Anyone who has compared the prices of laptops knows that Apple users are willing to spend more money.  So, why would Apple users spend more money per order, nearly twice as much as Android users?  Maybe Apple users are just more generous in their gift giving?  Maybe Apple users make meaning of objects differently than Android users and this is reflected in what they pay for their orders?  Maybe Apple users are in fact rich?  Maybe Apple users are just flashing their money to manage their relationships with other people?

The answer, the reason for Apple users amount per order, is certainly complicated.  You don’t get your own data, but you can interpret this as you wish.  There are certainly social class overtones of money and OS preferences.

1 comment:

Amanda Phillips said...

I think this is an interesting idea. However, I think using the phone is a bad example for the socio/class dynamics where using the laptop is a much better view. A lot of phone stores will have the second to latest iphone available for free with an upgrade. I know I chose the [free] iphone because I believed they held up better and would last longer. I think many people from every class range probably had similar experiences. However, the laptops I do think are a great example. Being able to afford a macbook is a sign of wealth in many ways. I think an equally pressing matter is how the people with less money end up being the people who get the lesser of the technology and probably have to replace sooner in the end spending more in the long run than the one time apple spender.