Android in Europe and Asia

I was going through the board deck of our portfolio company Wattpad this morning. Wattpad is the leading writing/reading community on the web and mobile. Quantcast says over 7.5mm people visit their website each month. And Wattpad is one of the top free "Books" apps in both the iOS an Android apps stores.

Wattpad has a very large mobile user base around the world as a result of the sucess of its mobile apps. And so this slide on geographic distribution of its user base caught my attention:

Geo breakdown
The iOS user base for Wattpad is about 65% in North America. But Wattpad's Android user base is less than 50% in North America.

More notably is what is going on in Asia and Europe. 24% of Wattpad's Android users are in Asia versus 12% of their iOS users. And 19% of their Android users are in Europe vs 13% of their iOS users.

Some of this data may be representative of Wattpad's user base. Everything on Wattpad is free. Wattpad makes writing and reading books feel like writing and reading blogs. And Wattpad is big in places like Vietnam, Phillipines, and New Zealand. But it is also quite popular in the US, Spain, and the UK. It is a global reading and writing community.

In any case, it was quite interesting to me that in Wattpad's user base, the North American users skew toward iOS but the Asian and European users skew towards Android. I plan to look at more data from our portfolio on this. Could be a trend here that would be useful to understand.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Dave Pinsen

    No comments yet. I wonder what % of AVC commenters are Wattpad users. Maybe you could bring back that poll widget to find out?

  2. LIAD

    It’s all about the Benjamins.

    1. ShanaC

      It can be very cheap to by an Iphone with contract ($0) – a lot of friends did this to lock in data plans….

  3. William Mougayar

    Android’s lower prices may be a factor. How does this correlate with Flurry’s data on same segments?ย Also, any data on the geographic ย distribution of commenting volumes from readers? I understand that comments are quite popular on Wattpad.ย 

    1. fredwilson

      i may ask flurry for broader data on this

      1. Allen Lau

        Good idea! Would love to know the difference.

    2. Ivan Yuen

      Here are some data on comments by country:42% US24% PH8% UK4% CA4% AU

      1. William Mougayar

        Hi Ivan, nice meeting you. Thanks a lot for the data! What is PH?

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


        2. Amy

          HI William! It’s the Philippines.

          1. William Mougayar

            Wow. Why so much there?How about Europe?

          2. Amy

            Wattpad’s always had a lot of traction in the Philippines. We actually held an official meetup in Manila in April. Just one quick example: The average web session there is 40 minutes which is pretty incredible!Wattpad started out a number of years ago as a Java app for feature phones. That helped with accessibility and early adoption in Asia – Vietnam and India, etc.A few other theories on the Philippines:- The product is a good fit with the country’s mobile phone culture. They’ve been mobile-first for a long time, interesting history of sms usage. – The popular content resonates there – great love of romantic stories and a general love of storytelling.- We support uploads in the Tagalog language which is a great intro to the Wattpad community for Filippino users, but because the population is bilingual they also branch out into English stories.Anyway, in Europe I know Spain is really coming on strong lately. Again, the local language support helps people engage with content.

          3. William Mougayar

            Fascinating story. Thanks for sharing Amy!

          4. leigh

            I’d also say that all the Phillipino’s i know are obsessed with anime/manga and consume a lot of story content online vs. paper.Hum…gonna have to get my son on Wattpad when he learns how to read and write since he’s fluent in Tagalog!

      2. Allen Lau

        One very interesting observation is that while commenting is quite universal, some cultures are more “chatty” than others. While Wattpad’s usage in the Philippines and Vietnam are more or less the same, Filipinos are a whole lot more chatty.

  4. Rohan

    Atleast back in India, the iPhone is seen as a luxury good vs Android phones which are priced around mid-high end Nokia phones and yet, are still cooler smart phones.So, data makes 100% sense.

    1. Tom Labus

      Have any of the MSFT Mango/Tango phones launched in India yet?

      1. Rohan

        Not sure Tom! A bit out of touch actually. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Richard

    Take another look at paid app numbers, this is where apple shines. ย Many reasons for this, but one that I took notice of is thatย Iphone users already have a iTunes account there is ย zero friction to checkout. It’s amazing.

    1. JamesHRH

      Rich, with no details to hinder my theorizing, I strongly believe that Steve had the entire product line laid out, at the very beginning:iMac – iTunes – iPod – IPhone – iPadThey talked 10 years ago about making the iMac a media hub. If you think of iTunes residing on your iMac, as it still does until iCloud takes over, they achieved this market position.Amazing is the right word.Garth Brooks said that once: ‘it’s amazing’.What people did not know was what he found amazing. He was a marketing major @ Okla St. He wrote a paper his senior year – that soft rock country could crossover & create a mega star.And he was right – that was what he found amazing.He & Steve are in a small club of people who saw what could be and then became it.

      1. ShanaC

        Except people want to get away from ITunes into a cloud or even just a better piece of software.Software vs hardware, always an interesting problem.

        1. JamesHRH

          the key is that the lousy iTunes SW ( and opportunistically strong arming the record labels during the height of Napster paranoia) is the key to the whole product line.No iTunes, no iPod. No iPod & BB, no iPhone…..

      2. Richard

        Happy that someone caught the “amazing”. ย Great comment on Garth. ย  ย I lived in fort worth during his peak years remember reading about the concept of crossover. What can I say about apple, have they had single misstep over maximizing revenue and market share over the last 15 years?ย The question I have is did they see the disruption of the music model? Did they consider the pandora model? And if so, why didn’t they adopt this model?

        1. JamesHRH

          They are a HW/SW UX company.They bite when it comes to services. Not in their DNA.They could be faulted for not having an online division that own Twitter, Pandora, Tumblr, etc. But that’s grading pretty hard.

          1. Richard

            They have a market cap of 10 million per employee vs 3 million for google, guess Hw/ux/ui is the sweet spot? More defensible, higher barriers to entry, better ip?

          2. JamesHRH

            Foxconn fudges that…..not buyin Rich

          3. raycote

            I guess you could kinda frame it as Apple being a bottom-up company moving from hardware slowly up into their integrated iClould and Google being a top-down company moving from its cloud services slowly down into their Android hardware play.A bottom up vs top down evolutionary path to the same organically integrated eco-system end point?Now I’m happy I got to use that organic thingy again ๐Ÿ˜‰

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. Richard

            Market Cap > Sum market cap 1:n IBM, Walmart, Microsoft

          2. awaldstein

            Too pat an answer for a game changing company GL.Apple is great at understanding consumer behavior and building platforms for their expression.All the rest is simply filler.

          3. Michael Elling

            History will tell. They are the new Ford; creating a near monopoly in a competitive market. The only Apple product I’ve had is a free product: iTunes client. Arguably they are more of a digital company than any other with respect to how they see information created, processed and consumed. Is it sustainable without the visionary who took on the evil empire? At these levels a game changer is required. But the same can be said for their competition or a 3rd party we haven’t heard of yet.

          4. Michael Elling

            History will tell. They are the new Ford; creating a near monopoly in a competitive market. The only Apple product I’ve had is a free product: iTunes client. Arguably they are more of a digital company than any other with respect to how they see information created, processed and consumed. Is it sustainable without the visionary who took on the evil empire? At these levels a game changer is required. But the same can be said for their competition or a 3rd party we haven’t heard of yet.

          5. Michael Elling

            History will tell. They are the new Ford; creating a near monopoly in a competitive market. The only Apple product I’ve had is a free product: iTunes client. Arguably they are more of a digital company than any other with respect to how they see information created, processed and consumed. Is it sustainable without the visionary who took on the evil empire? At these levels a game changer is required. But the same can be said for their competition or a 3rd party we haven’t heard of yet.

          6. Michael Elling

            History will tell. They are the new Ford; creating a near monopoly in a competitive market. The only Apple product I’ve had is a free product: iTunes client. Arguably they are more of a digital company than any other with respect to how they see information created, processed and consumed. Is it sustainable without the visionary who took on the evil empire? At these levels a game changer is required. But the same can be said for their competition or a 3rd party we haven’t heard of yet.

  6. Stiven Y.

    Thats a good news i love android i want that androids phones come here to butStiv – minijuegos

    1. raycote

      Your wish has been granted already or should I read your comment as meaning you would like to see more of an Android monopoly here in North America ?No so sure that would be good for consumers!Maybe a stronger 3-way race with more Windows 8 phones in the mix would be a better way to use up 1 of your 3 wishes.

      1. fredwilson

        A competitive market is ideal

        1. Michael Elling

          The empire is/are the carriers; AT&T/VZW. Apple struck first with iPhone and wifi offload way back in 2007 (we seem to forget). The ball is squarely back in carriers’ court. Just look what they can do with control over software upgrades (I want my ICS!) and marketing: product positioning in stores and price/subsidy plans. MSFT/NOK is just a diversion by the empire to keep iOS and Droid fighting yesterday’s battle (applications). New battle needs to be competitive bypass. Bandwidth 20x more expensive than it needs to be. Devices over 2 years = $400-800. Service costs = $2400. Something very wrong with that picture; underscored by fact that very smart people who touch on this topic in this thread don’t point to it; only mild variation on status quo with gaming/maximizing existing data plans. In fact, the relationship should be at parity or the other way around as technology is same for device and service (Moore’s law), but the service providers get added benefit of network effect (Metcalfe’s law). As monopolies they have not shared any of this back to the consumer. In part because Apple captured much of the network effect in the upper layers. As for NA/ROW differences between iOS and Droid look for 1) timing of market entry of 3G services, 2) price of devices and services (ie relative amount of monopoly vs competition), 3) state of wireline broadband competition and extent of wireless as wireline replacement/alternative, and lastly 4) demographics/income levels. It’s certainly a complex trend to distill, with many moving pieces, but the discussion thread about Apple’s marketing prowess is less relevant in this light. Schmidt feels on a global basis they have an upper hand in fighting yesterday’s battle, which they well may have. The final battle will be in the lower layers.

  7. Praveen

    I agree with Rohan, in India and a few other countries in Asia, the iPhone/iPad is seen as a luxury, whereas with Android, there are a slew of mid-priced devices that make it more accessible. So your observation makes perfect sense.

    1. Johan J.

      Well, Apple is also seen as a luxury brand in the US and europe. Maybe are the differences a bit skewed because an iphone would be affordable to any european, and maybe not so in india. (Remember these a relative stats, asking “from the people who have a smartphone, who can afford an Iphone” NOT “From the population of the country, who can afford an Iphone?” Quite possible the skewness isn’t that strong)My hypothesis would be a correlation with Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, where high masculinity corresponds to more status (-awareness). For this hypothesis to work US and UK should be on a similar adoption-rate, maybe together with Germany and France?While Scandinavia and Netherlands should also share an adoption rate. (Ofcourse skewed by the home advantage of Nokia/Sony Ericsson).

      1. fredwilson

        can you explain more? are you saying that android skews male?

        1. Johan J.

          @fredwilson:disqus No, read this for a reference on how to look at different cultures:…I think it is the current leading theory in anthropology. It shows how different cultures can be rated according to 5 different dimensions. One of these dimensions is masculinity vs femininity. This is the area where US and UK score high on ‘masculine’ values like competitiveness, assertiveness, materialism,ambition and power. While ‘feminine’ values are stronger in Netherlands and Scandinavia, which value a relation and quality of life.These dimensions can explain many cultural behaviours like how business are run, contracts are formed and even tax rates and payment options.Apple is a luxury brand, which is related to status and mmaterialism, which is a more masculine value. Hence countries which value masculinity more, value a luxury brand higher. Even if that means this luxury is a majority.

          1. ShanaC

            I wonder how to do market positioning for “luxury” using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. Where did you hear about them – have they proved useful to you?

          2. perfy

            Hofstede’s cultural dimensions are taught in business schools around the world for years. Any MBA would know of them.

          3. leigh

            and see, usually i’m such a cynic at the value of an MBA — but this is an interesting theory. Gonna play with it more.

          4. Johan J.

            I’ve studied international business so this was part of my curriculum.In the area of marketing it makes no differences. Materialism and status is relevant everywhere in the world. But when the question is asked why certain products seem more popular in certain cultures and less in other i think it has to do with the relevant dimension. But this hypothesis still needs to be proved ๐Ÿ™‚

          5. leigh

            this is very cool. thank you for the link.

      2. Michael Elling

        Income level is # 4 on my list above. 1,2,3 being: timing of entry (devices and networks), state of wireless competition (device/service costs), and wireless vs wireline availability/usage. Gender differences would be small issue overall, but important nonetheless; perhaps more important to the application folks (upper layers) than op system (middle layers) or infrastructure (lower layers) folks. I’m going to stick my foot in the muck by saying if gender does factor in (and I have faintly observed this first hand) it is because of the impression iOS = simplicity and speed, while Droid = complexity and range of performance. In automobile parlance, Droid needs a “crossover” that appeals to both sides. Another example might be auto-stick. Simple, automatic 80% of the time, but manual (complex) when you want it.

  8. Chang

    Android is huge in Korea. Android phones are often considered as “premium” as the iPhones. Clever carrier marketing + the fact that it’s home to Samsung and LG helps

    1. fredwilson

      that makes sense

    2. LIAD

      considered premium and costing a premium are different things.are the iphone/top of the range androids similarly priced?

    3. Richard

      Good point. All my Korean friends here in the US use androids.

    4. ShanaC

      Interesting, I never knew that….

    5. Scott K

      It’s more about ecosystem in Asia; on iOS, you cannot use many of Korean websites fully because they don’t support browsers other than explorer. This discourages people to purchase Mac and subsequently iPhone/iPad. On the hardware side, many lower-priced smartphones of a shorter product life cycle are available on the Android side. Finally, you would be treated as a traitor if you use iPhones while working at either Samsung, LG or HTC…Simply Android phones have higher market share in Asia, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are as good as iPhone in terms of user experience

  9. jason wright

    Wattpad – upload to publish/ download to read. Where is the revenue?

    1. fredwilson

      that sounds like the question people asked about facebook, twitter, and tumblr a few years agowe’ve learned to not ask that questionit just gets in the way of good investments

      1. jason wright

        “Where is the revenue?” – Jason Wright”we’ve learned to not ask that question” – Fred Wilson…further posts leading to…”Wattpad has some ad revenue but honestly i would prefer they turn the ads off” – Fred Wilson.”That’s a telling revelation” – William Mougayar.I question. I learn.

        1. JamesHRH

          No, Fred is on record: native revenue mechanisms appear organically out of the UX.Saying no to an emerging online network of engaged users because you can’t see the revenue model is like not unwrapping a gift because you don’t know what is inside.The revenue is there, just like the gift is.

          1. William Mougayar

            Great line…I would slightly alter it by saying …is like not “accepting” a gift because you don’t know what’s inside.The unwrapping comes later when the revenue is revealed.

          2. fredwilson

            Fuck, that is good. I wish I wrote it.

          3. raycote

            I’ve got to find a way to translate that logic into a method of dealing with my wife the next time I buy something that motivates her to asks the question why do we need that!

          4. jason wright


        2. fredwilson

          Wattpad has some ad revenue but honestly i would prefer they turn the ads off. They are not native

          1. William Mougayar

            That’s a telling revelation.

          2. jason wright

            ..and so why do they not?

    2. Luke Chamberlin

      They’ll sell to their audience and/or to advertisers. I can see many opportunities to monetize a site where millions are reading and writing every day.

    3. William Mougayar

      It’s advertising. They show ads at the bottom of the screen. It’s done well and un-obstrutive.

  10. BillSeitz

    Could this be a legacy of there not being a GSM iPhone for years? (Or do I have history wrong?)

    1. Elia Freedman

      iPhone has always been GSM. It was CDMA they didn’t have until last year.

  11. Abhisshek Das

    That’s because Asian and European consumers are not dumb and does not live into the reality distortion field. Fooling them using brilliant marketing is not that much easy. they know what they are buying.

    1. andyswan

      I imagine in your mind you see so clearly the flocks of hypnotized American masses waddling into Apple stores and turning over their maxed-out credit cards without thinking. The interent certainly needs more America-bashers…carry on!I’ll be a dumb American and actually look at the ACTUAL differences, such as heavy iPhone subsidization in the states….and the lack of it overseas, which causes the iphone to actually be relatively expensive when compared to its android rivals. That’s just me though….another dumb American!!!

      1. raycote

        Don’t be so hard on America Andy!Apparently there are 47.9 % of North Americas who are also smart enough to use Android when reading Wattpad dispute their brains being poisoned by money/credit.Even more impassive is that us clever North Americas both Android & iOS users have found a away of adding up to 112.5% of Wattpad users.

        1. Cam MacRae

          They’re showing % within category.

          1. raycote

            Right thanks!

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


      2. leigh

        Maybe the North American Marketers and Advertisers are just super smart, creative and way better than Asian and European ones ๐Ÿ˜‰ cc: @awaldstein:disqus

        1. William Mougayar

          Are you implying that the success of the iPhone is due to Apple’s marketing prowess and not to the product itself? Is this like similar to seeing a lot of Mercedes in Germany as % of other cars, but that ratio dwindles in other countries?

          1. William Mougayar

            My last comment was oriented to Abhisshek. Disqus edit hasn’t been working.

          2. leigh

            LOL i was wondering ๐Ÿ™‚

          3. Abhisshek Das

            yes I’m implying that the success of the iPhone is due to Apple’s marketing prowess and not to the product itself. Apple is a marketing-driven company (as opposed to a engineering-driven company)ref: http://www.businessinsider….

          4. William Mougayar

            I thought you were going to take that foot out of your mouth. Instead, you seem to be digging your heels with that opinion.

          5. Abhisshek Das

            did not get what you want to say , could you please explain it more ?

          6. William Mougayar

            What I meant is that you put your foot in your mouth by implying that NA consumers are fooled by Apple’s advertising whereas in Europe/Asia they are not. And you had a number of NA commenters here that were offended. Then you proceed to confirm that you believe that Apple’s marketing is what’s driving their success, not their products. I can tell you that there are lots of people that disagree with what you said.

          7. Abhisshek Das

            “A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion” – Chinese Proverbdoes anybody ever agrees and happy about the actual reality, Naked Truth , Nope , Nada , Nein. That is what happened when you live into the Reality Distortion Field. wake up open your eyes and mind. can logically says i am wrong.Galileo:Earth and planets revolve around a relatively stationary Sun at the center of our Solar System.others citizens: Burn That Galileo Demon, he is trying to destroy our Reality Distortion Field” ๐Ÿ˜›

          8. William Mougayar

            I’m deciding to ignore you.

          9. Abhisshek Das

            Thank You very much for that . i’m not surprised , that’s the only thing you could do when you can’t say anything logically ๐Ÿ™‚ anyway Bon Voyage

          10. William Mougayar

            You obviously don’t get the etiquette of online commenting.

          11. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          12. JamesHRH

            Name an successful engineering driven company that you admire…..

          13. Abhisshek Das


          14. JamesHRH

            Name the percentage of products Google has produced – since it began – that are meaningful players in the industry they targeted.Acquisitions don’t count. That means no Adwords, AdSense & YouTube.

          15. Abhisshek Das

            could you explain why wouldn’t acquisitions count.

          16. JamesHRH

            Because they involve market awareness – so they fall under marketing. If you care about other people and what they want or are doing, you are into marketing.Engineers are into building stuff.Admittedly, you can acquire teams of engineers. So you can make a case for some acquisitions on that basis.

          17. Abhisshek Das

            that’s the weirdest (ill!)logic i have every heard in my 30 years of Life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!please don’t take weed , its not good for your health.

          18. JamesHRH

            You admire & respect Google & engineering.They have released over 100 products. 5 are of note.Of the 5, 2 were not engineered in house – Applied Semantics (Gil Elbaz created AdSense/AdWords) & YouTube.Two of the other impactful products (Google Maps & Android) exist as strategic (i.e., driven by market concerns) barriers to protect the core search business: Maps to reach into Local search; Android to reach into phone searches.Oh, and they decided to buy Applied Semantics to turn PageRank / into a business (i.e, create revenue) after they visited with Bill Gross @ Overture and saw what he was doing.So, your heroes have designed one thing in house – PageRank – that had impact. And, 100+ products that disappeared into the mists of irrelevancy.That engineering is the only thing that matters thing sure kicks ass.Whereas, at Apple, they have internally created iTunes, iPod, iPhone & iPad – all of which operate at levels of reliability and deliver ground breaking innovation: when you were 20, people touched a button when they touched their phone (and where did Android get the touchscreen idea?)As for the insults, anyone with some life experience knows that insults come from people who don’t understand and don’t have the courage to say so.Grow up.

          19. Abhisshek Das

            if i going by your logic “Acquisitions don’t count” then here goes your Mac OS X and iOS (its based Mac OS) Apple Buys NeXT Computer, Inc in 1996. so what is you next weird (ill) Logic to defy this truth ?Apple did not build the OS in-House that run by ipod , ipad , iphones , they brought the NeXTSTEP operating system then make it Mac OS X and iOS

          20. JamesHRH

            Seriously? That’s your response? Who was the founder & CEO of NeXT?Why do you think I pointed out Gil Elbaz? Just for fun, it was Chad Hurley, Steve Chen & Jawed Karim who founded YouTube (not Larry or Sergey).And you response to my last post is……..?

          21. Cam MacRae

            I love Apple kit as much as the next man, so it pains me to point out that your argument doesn’t hold: Apple acquired iTunes (SoundJam), and extended PortalPlayer to make the first generation iPod.Nonetheless, I don’t think that diminishes Apple’s accomplishments any more than Google’s acquisitions diminish theirs.

          22. JamesHRH

            Cam – I don’t count SoundJam as all 3 founders were ex-Apple and the company was only the 3 of them when the rights to SoundJam were acquired. And they are likely all still at Apple.Regardless, my point was that Apple ‘developed’ the business in house. Neither or PortalPlayer or SoundJam were massive market successes that Apple acquired.That was the point I was making with the illogical ‘you can’t count acquisitions’ statement. Google – ‘the engineering company’ – bought YouTube for big $ when it was wildly successful, went outside the company to create their core business (Gross & Elbaz), etc.

          23. Cam MacRae

            I think you’re overstating your case, but I’m not going to argue the toss with you as I can see us going case by case all the way back to Xerox PARC. Life is too short! ๐Ÿ˜‰

          24. Matt A. Myers

            The way people have behaved in this thread has shocked me. I have a reply written up to call out all of this childish arguing – just not sure if I will post it or when I will have time to polish it and post it.

          25. Cam MacRae

            Calling a Americans stupid is the oldest troll in the book for good reason – it pretty much guarantees a flame war.The silly thing is that it obfuscates an otherwise valid point: That iOS devices are marketed differently in NA that other regions. The reasons for this are varied, and have more to do with differences in trade practices legislation and the competitive landscape than any regional intelligence or lack thereof.Personally I’ve been saddened by the vindictive down voting on both sides, but as I’ve banged on about the pernicious effects of the new voting system quite enough I’ll spare you the rant.

          26. Matt A. Myers

            Actually, I’d enjoy your rant on the new voting system. I have a long blog post that I’m writing, a venting one – backed by logic, of my own feelings and distaste for it.And I agree, it was trolling that initiated it all, and then things just fell apart from there and become a series of heated, emotionally-driven back and forth.

          27. andyidsinga

            Quick story.I had and old hand-me-down laptop from my wife – it was almost dead.I decide about a month ago.. fuck it …*I’m buying a new ultrabook!*I do all my online research and find an ultrabook that has decent tech. specs and a good price.I’m ready to buy. I go over to a local electronics shop so I can actually see and touch the device. I’m appalled at the cheap plastic piece of crap device I find (with a great tech. internals).By the time I find a device that actually feels, physically, like a decent product I would be putting out more money than I would for a mac…so I buy the mac (and prepare for a bunch of “i told you so” ribbings from friends and family).Now I have all the programming tools I can want – web, android, ios, windows ..and a device that is rock solid.Its amazing to me that the mac has become the most flexible “PC” device out there. I was around in the 90s when windows was that way…

      3. Abhisshek Das

        Theoretically “Heavily Subsidized” Practically “getting chance to paying in Installments with 2 years time frame ” with 2 years contract you are forced to use expensive post paid plans. if you pay actual price for the Phones and then use a Prepaid plans your total cost of ownership will be less and you might saves few bucks but i know you guys love the feeling of pseudo-OMG! I’m getting discounts (heavily subsidized) iphone and because you are very intelligent that’s why you can’t see the true rational behind “Heavily Subsidization”i never said anything about Americans but in your comment its pretty much self explaining everything ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. JamesHRH

          ‘fooling them with brilliant marketing’ is saying something Abisshek.

      4. William Mougayar

        Abhisshek, That was like saying that the Germans are stupid to buy Mercedes in their own country because MB does marketing to them.

        1. Abhisshek Das

          no it is not the same thing . but if mercedes benz create an auto rickshaw ( Tuk Tuk), gives a Sports Car look, sell it to average people (who earlier only used Bi-cycles ) as premium luxury car you can buy with a pseudo-discounted price and people believe that then you know what they are ^_^ ( English is not my native language so perdon my grammar and spelling mistakes)

      5. Abhisshek Das

        @ Andy you said “I imagine in your mind you see so clearly the flocks of hypnotized American masses waddling into Apple stores and turning over their maxed-out credit cards without thinking.” did you mean this… i guess i did not imagined it wrong ๐Ÿ˜‰

      6. andyidsinga

        re actual differences.wife and I got new phones – we both had older iphone 3g phones.She chose the new iphone 4s and I decided to switch to android and got a samsung galaxy SII.iphone 4s “just works” for her – all her music, good cam etc – she loves it.galaxy SII is a tinkerers paradise ๐Ÿ™‚ and has better cams than 4s. I get better battery life after a magical sequence of configuration options I do in morning, when I get to work then in evening – wife rolls her eyes at this, I feel like Im control the millennium falcon – I just need a good “chewie app” I can command do things for me.Iphone has waaay better build quality – galaxy SII is a plastic piece of crap that aint gonna last (unlike millennium falcon much to my chagrin ).My galaxy SII still has old version of android too …WTF AT&T / Samsung?..think the iphone is still better quality product on build and usability.PS. I also have an android smart watch from Wimm Labs – pretty slick will be fun to compare with the pebble watch I’ll get in september.

    2. FlavioGomes

      We’re dumb? We invented the damn things.

      1. Abhisshek Das

        what did you invent ?

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. Abhisshek Das

            Such as , can you name it

        2. FlavioGomes

          Really? U’ll have to do better than that.

      2. Robert Holtz

        Yes! Thank you for saying that. Absolutely right.



  12. Siminoff

    My thesis would be:1. iPhones later entry into many of these markets. 2. Price difference, in a country like Vietnam price is much more of a driver. Android devices have become a feature phone replacement in many third world countries. 3. In Europe they were used to Nokia’s UI, enough said on that:)In order to draw more from this I think it would be interesting to see the breakout for their US usage by state and even specific areas.

    1. Cam MacRae

      Replacement of feature phones is pretty key. I think different use cases around txt vs email etc. could be significant too.

  13. rob

    Here in India, if you own an iphone you are considered to be rich but if you have an Android based phone you can be from middle class.

  14. Luke Chamberlin

    The heavy subsidies on the iPhone don’t exist in many places outside the US where people are more likely to use “pay as you go” services instead of signing a two-year contract.My iPhone was $99 with a contract. Hardly a luxury price. But if I had to pay the full $599+ for an unsubsidized phone I would certainly be on Android.

    1. Allen Lau

      I think this is one of the main reasons. One can buy an unsubsidized, low end Android phone in many places outside the US for less than $200 or even $100.

  15. Guest

    What might you infer from seeing a trend?

    1. fredwilson

      Go to market strategies. Arbitrage opportunities

  16. Steven Kane

    with android, the hardware is cheaper

  17. jason wright

    Apple is said to be releasing a 7″ ipad later this year to cut the legs off Kindle Fire.Will Apple release a baby iphone to challenge mid priced Android handsets?

    1. raycote

      The question is how far can a luxury high margin brand go to compete in less affluent emerging markets?Many Android brands have nothing at risk when targeting low end fragmented markets with junky low end phones. Those brands specialize in bottom feeding on low end profits by selling low end phones. Those low-end low-profit phones are hired to do a different job than Apple or high-end-Android phones. Those phones are hired to do the good-enough-for-what-I-can-afford job. They are purchased by necessity not by desire.Apple and the low-end-Android phones are on two distinctly different marketing tracks that serve different types of consumer market realities.What is the Android vs iOS profit breakout on those Asian numbers?More importantly I would be interested to see some metrics on the penetration of Samsung’s high end iPhone equivalent phones in Asia.Is that large Asian differential 11.8%-apple vs 23.5%-android driven by true brand/functionality preferences or by financial necessity for most buyers?If it is driven by brand/functionality preferences Apple is in trouble. If it is driven mostly by financial necessity then Apple just needs to bide its time and innovational efforts and scoop up the more profitable high-end Asian consumers as more Asian’s ascend the wealth distribution ladder into Apple’s strike zone.This is a market narrative with a lot of complex sub-plots.We need to “keep it as simple as possible but no simpler”.



        1. Michael Elling

          GRIM right as always! Further: many parallels to be drawn between smartphone market today (2000-2020) and advent of automobiles (1890-1930). Apple seems to have studied Model T and Henry Ford, but improved business model as price is not the key weapon in current battle.

  18. ShanaC

    Design sometimes reflect the place where the thing is from, Iphones may not Jive with the cultural traditions of Asia. The sense of a luxury product is different abroad (and different within different parts of asia as well) – Leather VS Silk as a starting point when it comes to choices of luxury fabrics for upholstery.There was a great article last week about how this affected car design in China, so why wouldn’t it affect phone/computer design? Maybe something about android is culturally working where Iphone isn’t?

  19. awaldstein

    I’ve been a Wattpad fan since day one. The sense of community there is palpable.With that much traffic and I bet, engagement, I’m wondering what their monetization thoughts are. Anything public on this yet?

    1. leigh

      My daughter has a sci-fi novel she just started and I’m trying to get her on there (bc i’m such a wimp with my own writing and besides, she’s better then me). I’m super curious how one builds audience there.

      1. fredwilson

        Send allen an email ๐Ÿ˜‰

      2. awaldstein

        Let me know when there is something up.My family, my brothers especially are sci-fi fanatics and I’ll point them to her work.

        1. leigh

          I think your post pushed her over the edge. She always said, yah, but no one is going to see it or read it and they’ll think it’s dumb. And now she has potential readers so she posted it!…ps. i voted her up. a mother’s prerogative

          1. awaldstein

            Couldn’t be more pleased.

          2. fredwilson

            just found it and added it to my android phone. i will read it on the subway and when i’ve got some downtime.

          3. leigh


          4. William Mougayar

            It’s a quick read. I think this one will fit in the elevator ride. 19 floors will do it ๐Ÿ™‚

          5. fredwilson

            i read the prologue yesterday. i am wondering when chapter one is available

          6. William Mougayar

            Yeah, I’d like to know what happens with the kid that wants to drink beer.

          7. panterosa,

            Leigh, I am interested in this for my budding writer, PantherKitty, who is 10. She seems interested to post so perhaps I’ll post a link.

          8. leigh

            Oh you should! Pantherkitty – i love it. Funny that Cee’s online presence is CeeKat (kat being the first 3 letters of her last name ๐Ÿ™‚

        2. leigh

          she’s going to be so thrilled you commented – she’s such a 16 yr old – she loved how she could see how many people read it – but then got freaked out when no one commented (do you think they all hated it bc most people get comments…) so she’ll be really happy when she sees it.

          1. William Mougayar

            I did the same earlier. She has the talent thats for sure.

          2. leigh

            yes you did – she’ll love it. She has written 5 more pages (she’s trying to write that a week) so i think this will be really motivating for her.

          3. awaldstein

            My pleasureShe has a talent,I’m a big believer in writing as you know so whatever I can do.And as someone who raised a teenager….

      3. ShanaC

        Let me know too.My guess would be serializing – worked for Dickens and Asimov.

      4. Amy

        Hi Leigh, it’s awesome your daughter posted her story! We usually tell people the best way to build an audience is to just jump into the community and start engaging – follow other writers who’s stuff you like, comment on their stories, write back to anyone who comments on your work, build reading lists… it all happens organically.Serializing also works for a lot of writers too – fans get used to seeing new stuff appear according to schedule, once a week, once a month, etc.

        1. leigh

          The gamification mechanics are fascinating to watch (especially in relationship to something creative). She was very excited by getting her first fan and followed them back. And really, she only has two pages up so really interested to see how this develops.

      5. Allen Lau

        Awesome! Added to my “to-read” list. Will check it out when I have a moment.One suggestion – add a nice cover image will help build audience.

        1. leigh

          Yes i did see the covers seem to matter — She goes to an arts high school i’m sure she can find another teenager to help her with that. I like the idea of keeping it with the kidsSpeaking of which do you have any idea on the average age on your users? I’ll be interested once Cee shares it with her facebook friends how many start to get into Wattpad bc I can tell you most don’t know about it right now…

          1. Allen Lau

            One third of our users are under 18. I will be interested to see the reaction from her FB friends.

          2. leigh

            that high? that’s huge. I mean really really really huge. is that the same for the US and CA?

          3. Allen Lau

            Yup, pretty much the same in US and CA. You are based in Toronto, right? Wattpad is based in Toronto in case you don’t know.

          4. leigh

            I knew that. @wmoug:disqus keeps saying we should have a meet up as a larger group at some point ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. fredwilson

      No. I am not even sure they know. I am not on the board so i may be wrong about that

      1. awaldstein

        Nice to not have the pressure but sometimes, especially when you have a marketplace, which Wattpad is, monetization can be further glue when you figure it out.I’ll watch this one.

        1. leigh

          so many different directions it can go. such an amazing concept.

          1. awaldstein

            I saw them somewhere, with a panel of young writers and immediately thought….yes, this is a community that will find its legs.

        2. Allen Lau

          We are focusing on growing our user base at the moment. As Ev Williams once said – when you have a billion users, there are a million ways to make money :-)We have quite a few ideas, but now is not the right time to flip the switch just yet. Please stay tuned.

          1. awaldstein

            Thanks and I will certainly keep an eye out.Of course what Ev Williams built with Blogger and Twitter at least were horizontal platforms. What Wattpad has is the infrastructure and social categories of a marketplace to my eye.I think your users are telling you by their actions where value lies more specifically.

  20. adjwilli

    I know that in Argentina for instance the govnment has banned iPhones imports to promote and protect domestically manufactured Android phones. Good old fashioned trade protectionism could be a factor in other countries too.

    1. raycote

      Do they ban any other Apple products ?

      1. adjwilli

        So the Argentina ban isn’t official, but it’s easy to see why so many people fell for the jokes:

  21. jeffyablon

    Fred, thanks for talking up Wattpad; it had somehow completely escaped my attention.But hyperbole like this>>Wattpad is the leading writing/reading community on the web and mobile<< ? Usually MY stock in trade. Wassup with that? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. Sickstadium

    The rest of the world uses prepaid mobile plans much more than the u.s. Android (open, free) is easier to sell in to the prepaid channels than iOS (closed, not for sale)

    1. Abhisshek Das

      Average Americans are Extreme Intelligent , they must be using Post Paid Plans for a reason i guess ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. economicas

    asians look for quality and low prices no style.

  24. Syed Shakeeb Ahmed

    Lumping so many diverse regions under Asia does not give a clear picture. The Sub-Continent is different from China and its neighbours. South-East Asia is again a separate group. Let’s not forget Central Asia and Japan!! I’m sure each of these regions would have a different consumer approach based on their different cultures and economic situations.

  25. Douglas Crets

    Probably more Asians are on Android because the smart phone market was already booming five years before the iPhone came out. People are only just now getting on the iPhone, and Philippines and Vietnam, and Indonesia have some of the highest smartphone penetration in the world. You should talk to Media Partners Asia. I worked for them as a digital media analyst. They are the only true boutique media research firm focused firmly on smartphones, digital media development and broadband and wireless growth in Asia. Seriously. Their clients range from the big motion picture studios to the comcasts and satellite providers of the world.

  26. Mark Essel

    I like reading and writing ( & ‘rithmetic), just signed up. Gotta get back to reading a great cog sci book, Predictably Irrational ($2.99 kindle ebook) by Dan Ariely.

  27. Lucky Murari

    Samsung focused at Asian markets in its Galaxy series. This increased the usage of Android.Add to that, very bad pricing of iProducts in Asia. The price is so high that only “rich” can afford. Add to that unlike US, India ( not sure about other parts of Asia ) doesn’t have carriers offering contract deals on the Mobiles, making it very difficult to sell iPhones. In China, as far as I remember, carriers don’t yet sell iPhones. And, China and India are the biggest mobile markets in Asian.

    1. Lucky Murari

      Apple actually doesn’t even value its Asian market. All products enter very late ( >3 months after in US ) in Asia. And Samsung being aggressive in Asian markets made Android dominate.

  28. george

    I just finished an extensive trip through three parts of Asia, I may disagree slightly with the data. What I observed in real time, iOS (iPhone, iPad) devices are really penetrating now. Apple products are becoming status symbols and a broad demographic of users are carrying iPads while they shop or dine out. This is a huge transformation from just a year ago! Blackberry is almost missing and Android is positioned well on the lower end of the smartphone market.Growth is really going to measure abroad over the next 12 months for both companies.

  29. Stiven Y.

    Android is a SO of Google there is around the world and is simple and too estableStiv – minijuegos

  30. Modernist

    Apple appeals to the distinctly American ethic of “individualism”. Is the world becoming more American as it becomes more commercial?