Android and iOS Demographics In The US

On friday, as I ate a bowl of soup for lunch, I pulled out two phones, an iPhone and my Android. I opened up the app stores and went to the leaderboards. And I looked at the top free apps on both phones. They were radically different. That got me thinking about the different user bases on these two operating systems here in the US.

So as I finished my soup, I opened up a google spreadsheet and entered the top forty apps in both stores. I then shared with Brian who likes to look at stuff like this, and then I posted a link to it on so that others could see what we were up to. I am hoping that we can start using our website to publicly share the things we are thinking about and working on inside USV more often. The benefit of doing that is Kevin Marshall built a script to pull this kind of data out of App Annie and into a .csv file. Thanks Kevin. I will use that next time I want to do this kind of work.

I took a little liberty with the categories. If an app is useless without friends on it, I called it social (not photo, not video, not communication). If an app is used for shopping, I called it shopping (not lifestyle). I collapsed a number of categories into a category I called utility. The spreadsheet is here in case you want to look at it.

Here is some interesting data that comes from this work (remember that this is US only):

1) There are only 14 apps that overlap on both top forty lists. They are (in their order of popularity on Android):

facebook, pandora, instagram, candy crush, bitstrips, snapchat, skype, kik, twitter, pet rescue, whats app, deer hunter, despicable me, vine

You will notice that these are primarily the top social apps where friends drive adoption, not app store distribution. All of the social apps in the top 40 on iOS are top 40 on Android.

There are 26 apps that are top 40 on iOS and not on Android. And the same with Android. If you are not a social app, being top 40 on iOS does not mean you will be top 40 on Android and visa versa.

2) There are 15 games in the top forty on iOS with an average position of 19 and there are 12 games in the top forty on Android with an average position of 22. Five of the top 10 on iOS are games. Only one of the top 10 on Android is a game. This could be a function of the popularity algorithm that Apple uses, but it sure feels like iOS users are more into games than Android users.

3) Nine of the top 40 apps on Android are utilities vs three of the top 40 on iOS. This really jumped out at me when I was looking at lunch. 

4) The two top 40 shopping apps on Android are eBay and Amazon. The three top 40 shopping apps on iOS are Groupon, Black Friday, and Target Cartwheel. No overlap there at all.

What I take from this work is that if the popularity algorithms on iOS and Android are similar (I don't know), then the user bases for these two operating systems in the US are fairly different. That may be true even if the algorithms work differently. 

The picture that emerges for me is Android users are a "barbell" with young pre-teens and teens using cheap phones that won't cost a lot to replace when they are lost or destroyed and old folks like me who want a large screen and care more about utility than having fun. iOS owns the college kids, the post college kids, and the folks who getting married and starting familes. My bet is Android is sub 18 and post 40 and iOS is the 18 to 40 crowd.

I assume that there have been demographic surveys on this. I just haven't seen them. If there is data out there on this, I'd like to see it. Please leave a link in the comments. I think this has a lot to do with how developers should think about what platforms to launch on and what platforms to support in the near term. It also has impact on your distribution strategy. If you have a social app, you can build a large user base on iOS and then turn that into a large user base on Android fairly easily, as we saw with Instagram last year.


Comments (Archived):

  1. obarthelemy

    Very interesting, thank you.

  2. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Cool. From my albeit fairly limited social/business circle nowadays, the iPhone is most definitely ‘not cool’ – I’d concur with your demographics theories. Interesting stuff.

  3. William Mougayar

    I’m not sure if there is a clear age demarcation between the iPhone and Android, but am willing to be proven wrong by the data.It would be good to compare what it takes to get into these leadership boards. I know for iOS, it takes 72,000/day to break 10, and 23,000 to be in the top 50. I couldn’t find these equivalents for Android.The fact remains that although Google Play’s downloads are 25% higher than iOS, the iOS apps generate twice as much revenue. The App Annie blog posts regular analysis on this market.”The growth in iOS App Store revenue that helped them maintain their lead was primarily driven by the Social Networking and Navigation categories, while Google Play’s revenue growth was driven by Games. Although the iOS App Store generated about 2.1x the app revenue of Google Play in Q3 2013, their lead has shrunk since Q2 2013 when their revenue was about 2.3x higher.”…

  4. LIAD

    shock. horror. analysis and insight goes into being a good investor.I had read it was all about spray and pray.

    1. William Mougayar

      I thought I was reading Benedict Evans. Had to do a double-take 🙂

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        I’m hoping that Fred will do a post around the latest Benedict Evans slideshare on mobile !

    2. PhilipSugar

      I think what you see is that when you love something and you want to work to understand it = success.

      1. LE

        This is, in a sense, the problem that I have with many kids in college that go down a particular career path with no particular knack, axe or reason for it. And just get by.My textbook example of this is the person who goes into marketing communications, takes courses, gets a job and then gets hired. But outside of their job and the books they read they don’t really think about marketing, communications, business or anything related to it. It’s 9 to 5 for them. They have no curiosity. No passion. It’s not a sport for them. It needs to be all consuming it needs to be a sport which they love to play.

        1. PhilipSugar

          Its why its a good question to ask what people like to do outside of work.Hey for some people work is just going to be work. I can respect that.What I can’t respect is when your goal is to just make a ton of money (not the money you make when work is work) and you don’t have a passion for what you do, you just have a passion for the money, that in my experience is when you see bad behavior.

          1. LE

            There were these college kids collecting for “Penn State kids for cancer” yesterday outside the deli.On the way out I did my standard “guess my age and I’ll give you twice the donation” routine. (Well I’ve done it a few times before). They guessed anywhere from iirc 8 to 15 years younger than I am. I do look young for my age (sleep and exercise is the key) but kids always have a hard time guessing older age brackets. In this case their parents were younger than I was. I asked.When I told them my age they were very surprised. [1] Then I told them that in order to collect more money they should ask people “if I guess your age correctly will you give me a donation”? Of course people will give no matter what, right? And to just game it by guessing down. Because older people love it when someone thinks they are younger. [2]I don’t know if they followed my advice or not. But the type of person that I am talking about (if a business student) would think about what I said and give it some serious thought. The other business student would just continue to say “Would you like to give money to Penn State kids for cancer”?[1] I have this on film.[2] God knows I got my monies worth for $2 that morning.

        2. jason wright

          rear view mirror analysis. they haven’t been down that long and winding road yet.

    3. LE

      “analysis and insight”There is definitely a tie in between putting in effort so you can feel as if you have earned your success. Regardless of whether that effort really meant anything or not. Also if something is to easy it’s not as much fun is what I have found.

    4. fredwilson

      depends on the investor i suppose

  5. sd

    a few thoughts / q’s1- how many of the 26 iOS apps are available on android (and vice versa)2- android (particularly earlier versions) apps are more useful than the OS for certain basic functions like mail and file management, so I would expect these to perform well on android (vs iOS)…so I dont think this says much about user demographics other than Android users may be a little more tech saavy.3- Device replacement cycles play a bigger role in the android app store than in iOS – if you have an earlier version of Android, certain apps will not show up in your device’s Google Play…I suspect this affects the rankings… though later devices probably have broader appealI dont think this about demos so much as comfort with technology…Android users probably either are at the low end (ie dont use most of the features) so arent a factor in the app store, or they tend to be much more comfortable with tech and customization. This doesnt always correspond to age.

  6. Brandon Burns

    Android uses are “old folks like me who want a large screen and care more about utility than having fun.”Um… thanks for calling me an old folk like you!In other news, there are several studies on this (and I’ll find/post one when I’m not running out the door) but there are more utility apps on Android simply because Android can be modified and iOS can’t. The app manager apps, battery saving apps, etc. that are in the top on Android aren’t on iOS at all because they’re not compatible. If iOS allowed something like Go Task Manager on their system, I’m sure everyone would use it there, too; but they don’t.

    1. ShanaC

      Or a different demographic is buying android phones…but it is not related to age. Maybe personality types?

      1. inklenotrump

        Value? see the $350 Nexus 5 vs the $650 iPhone (same size). the purchasing psychology (at least in the U.S.) seems to be still be stuck around the on-contract value.. If people realized how much the $199 on contract iPhone really cost them they’d likely look for alternatives. T-mobile killed it this year because the tide is shifting.

        1. Richard

          Yep, AT&T is doomed.

        2. Brandon Burns

          Value did it for me. The Nexus is a stellar phone. My only gripe with it is the camera quality, but other than that its awesome in every way. The fact that it’s half the price of an iPhone and the iPhone still somehow reigns supreme is one of the world’s greatest mysteries.I guess most Americans get their $200 phone on contract. But I’d rather pay $350 and not have a contract, and on top of that make back the extra $150 in about 5 months after paying way less for a pretty solid T-Mobile plan. T-Mobile isn’t the best, but neither is AT&T in high penetration areas like Williamsburg, BK, where I live.

      2. Mroberhozer

        I like the personality lens to parse the data. The social-ness of iOS could partially be related to what people value, including being social offline (“going out”, etc.). Androiders are perhaps more oriented to productivity and getting stuff done. You could construe that to be more “career-oriented” versus social oriented, but that leaves a lot of information out of the analysis, as others have pointed out.At least anecdotally, using myself as a sample, it holds true. I spend more time thinking about being productive than being social on- or off-line, and thus, am an Androider.

        1. Dale Allyn

          Interesting. In my circles, it’s mostly the opposite. E.g. I prefer iOS (with some caveats), have no “social apps” other than WhatsApp which I added to text with one business contact; I have Skype, but use it mostly for business com; I love to “work” and do so mostly 7 days a week. Most of the people I interact with for business have similar phone setups. One heavy-user, business-friend of mine is now on Android and another one is on BB. Other people with whom I interact who have Android phones range from 19 to 56 years of age and use them almost entirely for social interaction with family and friends.My point, if there is one, is that our anecdotal observations can lead to funky conclusions. And of course, I’m not saying that you’re suggesting otherwise. 🙂

          1. Mroberhozer

            Touche’Turns out we need an actual objective analysis to get to an educated conclusion. Go figure.

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          Still productivity is in the eyes of the beholder !To marketers, creatives, teens and shoppers social is their key productivity ingredient.Traditional productivity may now be a minority use case ?

        3. ShanaC

          the only thing the data shows is what is popular on android vs ios – we don’t even know about the extent of app overlap…*sigh*

      3. Brandon Burns

        Yeah – the personality type that doesn’t need to buy an overpriced hyped up gadget to feel self-validation.

    2. fredwilson

      that’s a great point. thanks for sharing it Brandon.

  7. falicon

    Thanks for the mention as always! @williammougayar also deserves credit as the links. and idea to collect from app annie really came from him (i.e. all the thought)…I just typed the code.

    1. William Mougayar

      🙂 teamwork. thx.

    2. bsoist

      Nice work from both of you. Every time I read something like “I … entered the top fifty …” I think “Wow! Hold on, we can automate that” 🙂

      1. falicon

        Yep! Though I like to make them do it manual at least once…partially because it helps them appreciate the time/effort the code saves them (value)…and partially because it forces them to think through and identify all the actual steps they want to be automated and then that makes the coders work so much easier. 🙂

        1. bsoist

          Helping someone think through what they really want/need is the real value in the work I do. And, of course, as you mentioned, it makes my work easier too.

        2. PhilipSugar

          You are sharing all of the secrets…..

          1. falicon

            As my sifu always says, “there are no secrets” 🙂

    3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      typed?I thought programming needs skill…..may be I am wrong.

      1. falicon

        actually copy, paste, delete…then type a few custom bits…test…tweak…test…release…post comment…email Fred…move on to next thing. <— about 90% of most of my days 🙂

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          +100 on custom bits … enjoying myself on that for the last 20+ years….but i love the copy-paste-delete-add-few-something.

        2. Vineeth Kariappa

          r these top 40 last 24 hrs/ week/ year/ all time downloads or are these top 40 apps based 24 hrs/ week/ year/ all time on usage?

          1. falicon

            I’m not sure what source Fred used for his…but the scripts I wrote use these links ->… and…They are actually 100 deep lists…and appear to be for a given day (but I don’t really know – would have to dig into app annie a bit more to be sure).

          2. Vineeth Kariappa

            ty. but then, nobody knows how google and apple are decalaring “top XX” results, as its not said whether people are using the app more r are simply downloading it! am i wrong here?

          3. falicon

            I believe app Annie is all about downloads/installs (I get a daily email about the number of downloads/installs for my various apps across Amazon app store, google play, and Apple app store).

    4. fredwilson

      yeah, it was a tag team, well done. i appreciate it.

    5. Matt A. Myers

      Bro love

    6. Mark Essel

      Great idea and execution guys

  8. steve

    My friends and I are all 30ish and we are all switching to android, mainly because of the bigger screen and bc iOS 7 is terrible. Not surprisingly, I’m not really a gamer.

  9. Barry Nolan

    Apple recently tweaked their ranking algorithm to account for user ratings versus pure download velocity.An interesting analysis is to look at the top grossing apps. They are all free – every single one of them. Free drives download volumes (this can remarkeably be 100x downloads even on a 99c app) and the monetisation happens after. Games are mastering this.

  10. mikenolan99

    Having a bigger screen is driving towards android, more than anything else… I hate reading glasses, my arms aren’t long enough, and though IOS has god large font implementation on some apps, many don’t support it…

  11. PJN

    Interesting. I’d like to see BlackBerry data added in to this mix; it would be heavily Utility, but I bet there would be more social and gaming apps than would be expected.This also reminds me of the demographic comparisons between Facebook and MySpace that were done a couple years ago…

  12. William Mougayar

    There’s a pretty good article I just posted on SUM & USV, “Why Mobile ROI is Hard”, written by a Twitter product manager, Ameet Ranadive. It focuses on m-commerce (hint about where Twitter might be going next), and says 32% of mobile searches end-up with a mobile purchase. That’s an important trend.…I will go on a limb and say that any iOS vs. Android comparisons beyond economic or geographical ones are on a shaky ground and inconclusive.

    1. Elia Freedman

      Commenting a lot on other people’s posts this morning apparently. Demographic data for mobile is hard partly because you need to query so many people to get a representative sample size.I do find it interesting that market share numbers in the US show roughly even for iOS and Android and this is similar in countries where prices are subsidized, and generally Apple outsells Android when comparing on a carrier by carrier basis since many carriers don’t carry Apple devices. This leads me to believe that demographics don’t sum up who uses what devices at all.

      1. William Mougayar

        we have reached the same conclusion.

  13. ShanaC

    I’m on android…and I know some people my own age with android phones. I know far more post 30s with iPhones. I’m not sure if you can tell demographics from the data as you describe it

    1. inklenotrump

      agreed – I thought the demographics jump was a bit unfounded here.

  14. JamesHRH

    I think the splits price point followed by psychohraphic.The psych split is based on

  15. obarthelemy

    Thinking back on it, what would be even more interesting is aggregating, for example, *all* twitter clients, not just the official one. An app that may be alone, or in a class of its own, on one platform, might be either not as good, or not as superior to the competition, on the other. Registering, for example (made-up), “Twitter” in the top 5 in iOS but not Android might be misleading, if 4 3rd-party Twitter clients are in Android’s top 10.There will be some redundancy (I usually try several clients before settling on one), but that redundancy is probably fairly stable over time: a fixed % of people try out a fixed number of clients, statistically, so the overall figure, and especially the comparative iOS vs Android ranking, should still be meaningful, if not directly exploitable (XXX total clients does not mean XXX total users).

    1. Patrick Kane

      At PRIORI Data we’ve actually created a sub-category aggregating exactly this – we use the super hip name “Twitter Related”. On iOS it was 2.2mm downloads last month, with over 10mm MAUs. It’s largest in the US and Japan, is growing most quickly in Hungary, and the market is the least concentrated (downloads are widely distributed among the top 25 apps) in South Korea. Echofon for Twitter is the top global app in this sub-category.

  16. JamesHRH

    iOS & disqus fighting this AMAndroid is price sensitive, big screen sensitive & then customizable sensitive. Everyone else wants iOS.

    1. Elia Freedman

      In the US Android and iOS cost the same since almost everyone only cares about price with contract. That is a big part of the reason market share is so close.

    2. Pete Griffiths

      Price is a huge deal. And so is the pace of innotation.

  17. heif

    Tangent…. What are the mechanics of how this works: “friends drive adoption, not app store distribution” … Any links showing the UI’s of how this works (via SMS or ?)?

    1. fredwilson

      social apps that are useless without your friends on them can grow like crazy without any app store distribution or promotion. in app hooks to invite friends are what drive them.

  18. Jonathan Nation

    age, really?There are differences between people who choose Android vs iOS, yet age really is a minor factor. Social circles, availability (when they made the switch to a smartphone), customization, Desktop OS, and many other things can probably are more of a factor than age.I find the expost story you told here Fred to be very week not taking enough of the US, or World into account.

    1. Elia Freedman

      If I understand it correctly, the one app — messaging — is a huge driver of adoption for iOS as and Android. If all your teen friends are on iMessage then you want to be on it, too. Same for Android’s version. This drove BB adoption for a couple of years when BBM was the hot thing among teens.

      1. Drew Meyers

        yup….messaging is entirely driven by friend adoption. It’s a network of close friends of close friends. People need to have whatever apps their close friends use, pretty much without fail.

    2. Salt Shaker

      There are many ways to parse this data, including by paid/free apps, user income, whether part of individual or family mobile plan, etc. Nothing wrong with Fred’s approach though….it’s just one of many!

      1. Jonathan Nation

        there is a difference between “parsing data” and “guessing” – I find the story that Fred presented simply as not data driven but a combination of bias and guessing.

    3. fredwilson

      the Pew data, linked to above, shows that age is very much a factor. but not in the way that i surmised. iPhone is equally strong from age 18-44 and then drops off. Android is strongest in the 18 year old group and then drops off as age goes up. Pew does not publish data on teens and pre-teens unfortunately

  19. pointsnfigures

    I might restratify the data based on income and compare, or based on occupation and compare. I am starting to look at Apple as a luxury brand, and wondering how that affects growth and strategy.

    1. Elia Freedman

      Luxury is too strong. I heard someone call it an aspirational brand. I think that describes it more exactly.

      1. Pete Griffiths

        I don’t agree. I think it is indeed a luxury brand. There is no contradiction between that and it also being aspirational as all luxury products are aspirational.

        1. awaldstein

          All branded products are aspirational actually.I get what you are saying but go to the Apple store to get something fixed at the Genius bar. Luxury, as in Armani–not what I”m seeing.

          1. Salt Shaker

            Not sure I agree w/ you on this one. Virtually every product category has brands that are value based and aren’t aspirational, although, of course, social class/income usually defines one’s consideration set. I think a good way to look at Android vs. iOS is “mass vs. class,” based on general perception not functionality.

          2. awaldstein

            I’m not right, I just have a perspective that works for me.I have a client that is a discount brand. People come to them to discover deals that are as well verified not be be junk. It’s as aspirational as can be from my perspective.For me mass vs class is too gross a categorization and doesn’t really guide me in decisions.Whatever way that works to help you make the right decisions is the correct one.

          3. Pete Griffiths

            :)there is luxury and there is luxury for surean iPhone isn’t a Rolls Roycebut to those who can only afford and Android phone (most of the world) an ihone is an unimaginable luxury.

    2. LE

      “Apple as a luxury brand”A luxury brand is more something that is 70% in your mind and 30% real value. Apple definitely has some of that “party in your mind” but nowhere near the amount that a true luxury brand has.Read the WSJ print edition?See the ads for expensive watches that appear on the first inside pages? [1]That’s something that’s probably as close to a luxury brand (up in the high 90’s of”in your mind”) as can be.It’s also entirely possible that the thing that gets people interested in Apple in the first place is not the real reason that people stay or like Apple.[1] There is not a shovel large enough to take care of the bullshit that comes from those ads.

  20. Dan Ramsden

    It’s almost as if the individual device is becoming its own cable channel, by analogy in any case, in the sense of particular content orientation, demographic targeting, marketing/commerce opportunity, etc.This phenomenon might evolve further as Netflix and Amazon (especially the latter, with its own Kindle device) start to become actual cable channels, and others follow suit.Maybe we get to a place where major distribution platforms become content and hardware rolled into one, and consumers then have to make a choice – like choosing between cable packages – as will advertisers and brands.

  21. Richard

    You put on your body the fashion of the group (the tribe) you want to be apart of. ios vs android (and most of consumer technology) does not compete on technology, it competes on fashion and the fashion circle of its users. You put on your body the fashion of the tribe, headphones, jeans, and phone, that you u want to be apart of. This is the future of the consumer technology.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      Very true !But at some point reducing painful-friction can override fashion.Is that not what Apple’s iPhone did to Blackberry’s fashionable business tool?

  22. gregorylent

    the downside of working in the shadow of steve jobs’ legacy, apple is way behind on screen size, which he apparently insisted people don’t want .. hah

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      Wait for it !They probably feel they have not yet completely milked all the value out of the present screen size ?Bigger screens will soon be the exciting new reason to replace that old iPhone.I think they have already waited to long on this one?I’ve got old eyes so I would probably switch back from my Galaxy if Apple delivers a bigger screen.

    2. Sofia Fenichell

      It’s a shame because Apple could do so much more. I hope its not a case of too little too late. They are so governed by their stock price. To heck with it! Just create great products.

      1. fltron

        I feel quite the opposite. Apple’s pricing is governed by their stock price. They’re making big margins to satisfy the stock market, sure.However, the argument that apple isn’t making a bigger phone because it would hurt the stock price is counter-intuitive. If Apple wanted big market share, and to please analysts, they’d have released a big screened iPhone that’s cheap to compete in Android’s ‘cheap’ market years ago.Apple’s stock keeps getting hammered because Apple is going for quality, not quantity.

        1. Sofia Fenichell

          I wouldn’t call this ‘hammered’. 5 year stock chart. But true depends on your time frame. I love Apple. I don’t think a bigger phone is the solution. I think the time is now to launch a phone at a price point that can compete with Android and give GOOG a run for its money 🙂

    3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      yes… people don’t want that screen size,,, to carry in their pocket …and he is right.

    4. fltron

      Apple’s philosophy that one-handed phones are a better device is sound. They’ll keep making one-handed phones, but play with the screen size when they can make the body of the phone thinner.Consumers want bigger screens, but they also wanted bluray players and diskette drives and flash and java. Apple has its own design priorities. They’re definitely not the ‘please everyone’ company.

  23. panterosa,

    I make games for iOS because my customer is an iPad owner and has behaviors around that. But never fail most people ask when we build for Android, as if we are ignoring them.

  24. Elia Freedman

    I still think there is an opportunity for a third platform that really nails productivity.

    1. William Mougayar

      Have you heard of Sailfish, next gen mobile OS from ex-Nokia engineers… which can run on any smartphone…and Dropbox is rumored to be developing something related too

      1. Elia Freedman

        Both are new to me. Thanks for the head’s up.

      2. Pete Griffiths

        I will be incredibly surprised if Dropbox does a mobile OS.

        1. William Mougayar

          never say never 🙂

          1. Pete Griffiths

            :)anything is of course possible, but it would be insane.Ally themselves with something like Tizen perhaps.But bootstrap a mobile OS?????

    2. Richard

      Why productivity doesnt matter. Under have all the time in the world

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        true that …. more than the time you want….

    3. Tom Labus

      WP8 is fine with me

    4. SubstrateUndertow

      Define productivity for whom at doing what ?For me network-effect productivity means distributive bottom-up organic governance Apps that deliver new social control steerage previously impossible on the old mediums. We’re not even scratching the iceberg on that flavour of collaborative productivity !Just saying that productivity maybe to subjective as a foundation on which to build a viable third platform.

    5. PhilipSugar

      This is a really good point. We all do things that either productive or that waste time. But I am not sure. At least in travel, which is a very small segment there are a lot of tools that save time.

  25. Jim Vitek

    Pew Internet has some good data on demographics by mobile OS:…Quick summary: Education appears to be the biggest difference between the two userbases. Income is also a factor, but I’m guessing that is a largely a product of the education difference. Age alone does not appear to be a big factor in OS choice.

    1. Deep

      Really useful information. The inferences drawn by the author are really surprising, how could he infer that people using utilities are more than 40 years old and prefer large screens. He also ignores the fact that if Amazon and eBay are the top commerce apps on Android but not on iOS then probably Android is more mainstream than iOS. Anyway the research data shows that the only age demographic where iOS beats Android is 55+, and given the factual information provided by the author the Pew research seems to make a lot more sense.

    2. fredwilson

      that pew data is really useful and that last chart pretty much answers my questions. it seems like iPhone is more or less equally strong in age groups from 18 to 44 and then starts dropping off. Android is strongest among the 18 year old group and then drops consistently as the age group grows.too bad there is no teen and pre-teen data. that would be interesting

      1. marysitz

        Here’s some data at Pew on teens and mobile more generally:…I’m happy to share our own mobile data at The lowdown: our mobile traffic (which accounts for approximately 25% of our overall traffic) is about 60/30 ios/android. Our users are around 64% in the 18-24 range and around 18% 13-17.FYI: we get around 100,000 uniques per month, so definitely not a tiny sample size.

        1. ThomasRankin

          Thanks @fredwilson:disqus, @a2jv:disqus and @marysitz:disqus. This is some very useful data and something that I have been digging for intel on.What will be interesting to watch is if pre-18 android users continue to shift to iOS or if they move to classier android phones (hello Nexus 5) as they have more disposable cash.This will have significant impacts on marketing, distribution and monetization strategies for mobile companies such as ours.Thomas

  26. Nitin Mittal

    On your 3rd point, my company tracks mobile commerce performance for retailers. We have seen that a preponderance of purchasing comes from iOS. Therefore, retailers are inclined to build first around that ecosystem over Android. We have built probably 10x the number of iOS apps to that of Android. Here is the link: http://share.brandingbrand….. The last page supports my claim. It just further reinforces the divide between apps for OSs.

  27. Pete Griffiths

    A factor that I believe will prove to be increasingly important but I have not seen discussed here is the sophistication of the underlying ecosystems because the devices are increasingly just front ends to these ecoystems.IMHO Google has much the superior ecosystem. Their experience running a gigantic global data science project with a laser like focus on reliability at huge scale and ultra low latency is unmatched. As the significance of data grows they will increasingly develop products that it will prove hard for Apple to compete with e.g. Now.

    1. Sofia Fenichell

      Pls explain what precisely you mean by a superior ecosystem. I think Apple has a great one.

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        Yes “SUPERIOR” is some what subjective and transient !The internet, IMHO, is presently being built up-side down.The old school, top-down, tracking/targeting of the many by the financially or politically empowered few is being resurrected and amplified atop our new, universal, internet-mediated, network-effect based, social-infrastructure-platform.The real transcendent social/political potential of our new network-effect based social-infrastructure-platform resides in its power to reverse that historic top-down power/control relationship.History and McLuhan suggest that “The medium is the (human-evolutionary) message” and that a dominant medium’s potential, its strange-attractor, cannot be long denied.( Any leap forward in organic social-synchronization-power ignited by a major advancement in a ubiquitous communications medium will ultimately accelerate the incestuous integrative-restructuring of human culture and ideas with far more impact on human cultural evolution than will any amount of cleverly arrogated content exchanged within the constraints of the older medium’s messaging stream limitations. Although the medium is not literally the message, metaphorically as regards the narrative of human cultural evolution, it is.)The incumbent power-elite-structures, driven by unconscious habitual knee-jerk, are hard at work trying to reestablish their old school top-down social/economic control schema. This inverted-misuse of the network-effect constitutes a futile counterproductive attempt to resist the new medium’s pivotal break-through attribute, a distributive, bottom-up, self-organizing dynamic, that fundamentally reframes the potential limits on human cultural/organizational evolution. Those limits are now more alined with the self-organizing dynamics inherent in cellular organics and bring a whole new spectrum of social opportunities/challenges/dangers.Sooner than later this network-effect underutilization bullshit, this top-down misuse of the network-effect’s social reorganizing potential will hit the preverbal fan. This constraining of the network-effect’s social reorganizing potential will start to bite down hard on our social/economic stability as it undermines our collective ability to successfully synchronize the complex, new, organically distributive, levels of social/economic interdependence that will be inherently forced upon us under these new network-effect social-infrastructure conditions.When this network-effect constraining, top-down underutilization misuse, bullshit hits the fan as a negative, mass-culture, experientially hard-wired meme the demand for proper control over our own privacy, over own identity, over our own data footprint will inevitably emerge as a pivotal/primal ownership issue, as a fundamental crisis in the political autonomy of the individual, as a digital age democratic disaster!Apple, if it plays its cards right, may be in a better position to ride that wave than is Google simply because Apple depends far less on the ownership and commercial resale of its user’s data footprint?

        1. Sofia Fenichell

          Ah, you speak of the Dark Lord…. What can I say. This is some really high powered thinking! I think you are probably right if I understand you correctly. Interesting point re: “Apple, if it plays its cards right, may be in a better position to ride that wave than is Google simply because Apple depends far less on the ownership and commercial resale of its user’s data footprint?” One to watch. Thank you.

      2. Pete Griffiths

        I mean not just the customer facing but the underlying platform. The point is not just today’s products but the core competences that will deliver tomorrow’s. Google has way more experience as a massive data science company and way more experience running vast low latency online services.

        1. Sofia Fenichell

          Possibly. But they are missing one important ingredient. They still have to build products customers actually care about and get them to care about it.

          1. Pete Griffiths

            That feels like a rather strange statement. Google has many such products: search, earth, youtube and maps spring to mind (and btw these are data science products at unimaginable scale) Indeed, mobile versions of these products are amongst the most popular on iPhone and Android has approximately 4X the global market share of iOS. I guess I don’t quite understand your thinking on this. By ‘care about’ are you referring to something else? Some ‘fan boy’ dimension? Some form of expressed and passionate brand loyalty?btw rockpack looks interesting – clever take on interest graph. good luck 🙂

          2. Sofia Fenichell

            Thanks. Very kind of you. Wait til you see what we are launching next. Rockpack is just the palate cleanser!Re Google and ‘caring’ – yes, some fanboy dimension. Youtube in particular but broadly Google broadly skews male millennial. I don’t believe Google is a very strong consumer facing company for the broader demographic.

          3. Pete Griffiths

            Can’t wait to see what comes next then.I don’t agree wrt demographic. I think the ‘confusion’ here stems from the fact that many Google products (search, maps earth…) are utilities designed to be quickly dipped into and out of rather than products designed to engage. But that difference doesn’t mean that they are not ‘consumer facing for the broader demographic.’ In fact I can barely think of a more broad consumer facing product than search.Imho it is more the ‘style’ of products that leads to this difference in our perceptions rather than the broadness of luster of their appeal.To take my point right back to the beginnning, how many companies could build a product like ‘Now’ ? We are presently scratching the surface of products that ally huge datasets and machine learning to filter by context and I can’t think of anyone remotely better equipped than Google to lead this revolution of context driven products – certainly not Apple.

      3. Sofia Fenichell

        I have to say you are very correct on this! I suppose I tend to over extrapolated Youtube. Occupational hazard. Google at large is an incredible company. Stay connected…

  28. BillMcNeely

    I love number 4. I work at Target as a cashier.The store is located at the boundary of North Richland Hills and Colleyville, Texas. Colleyville has a median houshold income of $154,000 and we also we see a lot of guests from Southlake with a median income of $172,000.All the guests have iPhones. We push the Target card hard ( Debit or Credit, you can save 5%, free shipping, extra 30 days return etc) but we only see a 4% acceptance rate.Even though people save on average $180-$480 over the course of a year. Super savers get $680-$1200However, when I talk about the Target Cartwheel faces light up and people download.On an average trip I am seeing folks save no less than $5. In addition we also have double dip opportunities. You buy the item in the circular and then you get extra savings when you come in the store if you add it to the cartwheel.

    1. Matt Zagaja

      I think that mentally credit cards feel like big commitment. You have to worry about whether there are catches/annual fees, etc. and then set it up in billpay and keep track of it after the fact every month. The only store card I have applied for is Kohl’s because that’s where I buy most of my clothes.

      1. BillMcNeely

        I agree with you. Even when I switch over to the debit card option people think there is a catch.

    2. Brandon Burns

      And here I thought everyone on AVC was a startup wonk. Proven wrong! Which is probably better for everyone.Curious: what brings you here?

      1. BillMcNeely

        I am an aspiring entrepreneur. Here is my back story via LinkedIn… Doing the cashier thing to bring in money while I get Wharfie off the ground or secure meaningful employment.

        1. Brandon Burns

          Cool. Good luck to ya!

  29. sfrancis

    One argument for the difference in utility apps: you need them in Android to get the experience you want, and don’t need utility apps on iOS because it is close to the “it just works” magical standard. Counterpoint on iOS: some of these utility apps (swype?) aren’t allowed on the Apple app store, regardless of desirability or utility.I’m guessing one or both of those has more to do with the prevalence of utility apps on android vs. iOS…

  30. Patrick Kane

    We (PRIORI Data) also look at trend differences between iOS and Android. Here is a link to a presentation which I gave here in Berlin that hits many of the high-level platform comparisons:…We also prepare more comprehensive reports, where we explore share, growth, monetization, and sentiment across countries and categories. Here’s a link to one of these for Android:…Our data echoes many of the general takeaways from the post. iOS has a very powerful gaming ecosystem, even though the proportion of gaming apps is the same across Android/iOS. Android is very heavy on utility/productivity (“Tools”) apps. While the top 4 categories on iOS are games, in terms of distribution (downloads/installs), the Android Tools category is larger than the top 3 iOS categories combined.Fred, If you are interested in more data (downloads/MAUs) based on categories/sub-categories across countries and platforms, I’d be happy to share a beta access to a tool we have in development.For other info/sources on this, VisionMobile produces lots of thoughtful analysis that are worth checking out.

    1. fredwilson

      this is really great Patrick. let me dig into your deck and then i may come back to you. i really appreciate you sharing this with me/us.

      1. Patrick Kane

        Of course, and very happy to share with the community. We hope there are some folks who find it useful, and it’s great to have a discussion that goes beyond just rehashing the top-charts.

      2. Patrick Kane

        This might also be interesting for the group. This is a column we authored for the Fall 2013 Casual Connect Magazine:…It explores how app publishers can use app store data to define and size their markets (and for investors to diligence and benchmark investment performance).

    2. fredwilson

      i particularly liked this slide from your deck. it shows the general behavior i posted about

      1. Patrick Kane

        Thanks Fred, and yes, it’s exciting to follow this. And if this paints a picture of the “demand” side of the equation, a question we also ask is how much of this is impacted by the “supply”. In other words, how much is the publisher ecosystem driving this consumer behavior (by virtue of the apps they publish), and how much is the platform ecosystem driving this publisher behavior (by virtue of their hardware/software/terms/documentation). We think it’s fascinating to explore these economic theories at work in the app stores, and our goal is to quantify them.

  31. Matt Zagaja

    Right now I’m more than knee deep into the Apple ecosystem. I have friends using both Apple and Android platforms. The ones using Apple usually cite the quality of the integrated camera as the primary appeal. I have to agree its a big boost, the camera on my 5s seems to outperform my handheld camera that I now only use when I need zoom. Android people cite the screen and/or price. Here are some basic demographic observations I had from sitting in the line at my local Apple store on iPhone 5s launch day, this is anecdotal:1. The iPhone users in the line were overwhelming asian. 2. There was a large contingent of college and post-college men (bros?)3. High school and college aged women also seemed to be prevalent.4. Older men that work in tech.Some observations:1. On either platform there are not a ton of apps being downloaded. The default apps are sufficient other than maybe needing Facebook and Instagram. 2. Trend is people use their computer at work and just have the phone for home. 3. Older people love the calendars, sharing schedules with their spouse/significant other and having them sync’d is viewed as a huge benefit. 4. People DO NOT know their app store passwords. This is why I think TouchID is going to be a bigger deal/trojan horse on Apple devices. Everyone else is focusing on device security. The big deal here is that you can buy apps with your fingerprint. I can’t wait to see how much more money Apple and its developers are going to make because users finally can download apps and aren’t blocked by no password.

  32. Jeff T.

    Having an app focused on the luxury demographic, I see that our user base is heavily swayed towards iPhone. I completely agree with the young end of the barbell, that teens/kids get Android phones since they are (mostly) cheap, but iPhone’s are still associated more with luxury. Our age demographic spans from 20s to 60s, and even for people in their 60s, 90%+ are iPhone.

  33. bsoist

    The web is awash with opinions, including mine. Refreshing to see data.

  34. Drew Meyers

    What demographic does Windows phone have? Seattle techies who work at Microsoft or Gates Foundation?

    1. MikeSchinkel


      1. Drew Meyers

        I’m in the Seattle area, and two of my really close friends have them. One works at Gates Foundation, and the other I believe gets it free from a family plan. That said, they both love the phones…but annoyed there are no apps. But even in this area, it seems to be a rarity to see Windows phones…I bet they are few and far between outside of Seattle metro — I have no data to back me up on that though 🙂

        1. MikeSchinkel

          Still, ouch. 🙂

        2. MikeSchinkel

          And FWIW the one person locally (Atlanta) who I know that has a Windows phone and raves about it is the former Microsoft SouthEast Regional Evangelist. 🙂

    2. Matt Zagaja

      Hah. I have seen/heard of people that really want a good camera buying a Lumia. I remember stopping by a Windows Store (Microsoft Store?) kiosk about a year ago to look at their surface tablets and see the phones. They’re not bad products, but I think they lack a compelling advantage especially at the price point they are/were selling at.

      1. Drew Meyers

        They need to re-brand away from Windows. Fact of the matter is that “windows” isn’t a “cool” brand anymore. I think they are discounting how much people don’t want to tell their friends they have a “windows phone”. Put the same tech under a new brand, and they’d have much much better success. My 2 cents 🙂

        1. MikeSchinkel


        2. Ryan Frew

          I’m 22. Everyone I know who’s my age would rather be pushed down a flight of stairs than drive a mini van. SUVs are pretty lame too. Station wagons, though? Those are pretty cool. My parents, on the other hand, wouldn’t be caught dead driving a station wagon. We could have the same conversation with clothes and basically any other trend. Microsoft won’t be cool for a few more years, but soon the early adapters will be scoffing at AAPL and GOOG simply because that’s how the cycle works.Further, we both know that Microsoft can’t just spin off a brand because their corporate clients are too valuable and they can’t dilute that.

          1. Drew Meyers

            But I don’t see how branding their phone as “windows” does them any good. Microsoft is not known for phones. And they won’t be known for phones for at least another 10 years even if they shifted all their branding effort to it today. But if they put out a new brand, that happened to be built by microsoft, that brand would be known as a phone brand tomorrow. Same reason that Google has the “Android” brand….because they know Google is not going to be known for anything other than search. I struggle to figure out why more big brand marketers don’t get this.

          2. Ryan Frew

            Sometimes spinning off a brand like that works and sometimes it doesn’t. Apple wasn’t known for phones…they didn’t create a new brand…and it worked. Android…well, you pointed out an alternative example that has also been successful. With no internal knowledge from anyone at MSFT, I can think of three reasons they might brand it as Windows:1) Windows has so much clout with the professional crowd, they wanted to fight that battle, and focus less on the average consumer. Then let it have a sort of “trickle down” effect, if you will. This is the strategy they seem to be pursuing with Surface.2) If they can make the Windows phone cool, maybe it would build brand equity among their other less sexy Windows offerings.3) Hubris. Windows folk figured they already have a sh*t ton of brand equity among younger consumers, thanks to Office, and they could ride that. I really hope it wasn’t this.

    3. someone

      Folks who want the best possible camera on a phone, including 2-3x digital zoom. That’s why I will switch from android, once the Lumina 929 comes to Verizon.

  35. Jesse Taggert

    What are the considerations for ranking popular apps *if* one assumes IOS users are already established and Android has a larger percentage of new users adding apps from scratch (or switching from IOS to Android?) vs building on an already established collection of apps?

    1. Matt Zagaja

      That’s a good point. Many popular apps like Facebook were already out years ago and if you get a new iPhone it seems to treat it as if you are reloading an app you already bought.

  36. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    Market is wide open …choosing a product is all about….environment and character …. There are people who go with environment….there are people who are adornment …. … both are market.

  37. jason wright

    what were your phones doing in your bowl of soup? not a good sign.the iphone 6 may be soup-proof (but only to a depth of one meter), but it will be having a bigger screen and so that distinction will be moot by next summer.

  38. ptiddy

    Maybe I missed it in an earlier comment, but I wonder about the effect of non-phone (iPod) downloads on the iOS #’s. As the father of 2 young boys, I can tell you they download much more than I do, most of that games, and they’re not old enough for their own phones yet.

  39. Sofia Fenichell

    This is a fascinating post and amazing that we don’t have better data publically available than the Pew Research reports which I don’t think really tell the whole story. A few unconnected data points: 1. Ooyala suggests that iOS users watch 2x as much video as Android users. This could be because of better wifi connections (possibly correlated with income) and also because of the device fragmentation on Android which ironically makes for a worse player experience despite Youtube being the dominant video platform.2. We have Comscore data on female iPhone usage and penetration in the UK. Women 18-44 over-index on iPhones – meaning they are more likely to own iPhones. And higher incomes over-index as well.I don’t usually think Comscore data is 100% reliable. But let’s not forget the old Peter Lynch test of what do you know/what do you see around you. In central London, I rarely see anyone on an Android that isn’t a developer. Moms, dads and normal folks – even our local cabbies all have iPhones. That said, there is an element of what you look for. I am part of the iPhone ecosystem so I am attuned to it. It’s kind of like the first time you have a child – suddenly everywhere you turn, you see a pram for the first time and can’t believe how many there are!GREAT BLOG POST. KEEP EVERYONE THINKING.

  40. OurielOhayon

    the explanation has nothing to do with the demographics but 1. with the fact the Android store is rewarding apps that stick more than app that climb 2. Android has a lot more hooks to create virtuous virality and recurring usage than iOS

    1. fredwilson

      thanks. that’s really helpful. so engagement is part of the android popularity algorithm?

      1. OurielOhayon

        yes Fred for a while. They look for example uninstall rate, recurring update rates…not sure whether they look at the app usage itself but since they own the OS they could….

  41. george

    You got me thinking, how do platforms differentiate their products/experiences. Your App study definitely indicates there are differences; I’m sure age and buyer demographics play into it, but so does marketing, and I think Apple and Google approach each differently.

  42. D Chandler

    There is some raw PEW data on cell phone ownership, usage, and attitude, but it is from April of 2012. The data is at:… . The caveats with the data is they could not survey individuals under 18 years of age, sample size is only ~2400, and it drops to ~850 when you subset on iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phone.I built a quick web app to pull the data and to plot/group:… . Crude but fun. Nothing jumps out when looking at age vs. smartphone type and I left that as the default when it loads the data.

    1. fredwilson

      thanks. saw the pew data in another comment here. that is exactly what i was looking for. thanks!

  43. laurie kalmanson

    my tween and her friends: ios for facetime, itunes; google hangouts in theory is social but it doesn’t have the same grace/fluency for this crowdat work, hangouts is the go-to for remote conferences, and it mostly works; it’s probably going to kill gotomeeting and the other paid servicesandriod phones: i pick up one every once in a while and put it down again; sticking with ios. my dev friends all talk about how they love to be able to build their own phones; not my flavorios phone: i love having itunes in my pocket, but sometimes i long for a flip phone to make calls on

    1. ShanaC

      it will probably kill other pieces, like straight up video conferencing.

      1. laurie kalmanson

        yes.i went into a store the other day that has an ipad/square for credit/debit and an ancient cash register for cash

  44. fltron

    I feel like all this comes down to money. The one key difference is iPhone users have more of it, and are likely to have a better performing phone, where as Android users tend to buy junky phones that don’t play games very well. Even the latest Samsung earning call, Samsung admitted that their only growth has been in the low-end phone market. iPhone is beating the S4 side-by-side in total numbers and growth.Android’s flexible ecosystem allows for more utility apps. Apple has a much smaller market in this area due iOS being more closed down. Gaming, as mentioned, comes down to the quality of the phone. As we know from browser statistics, those cheap Android phones don’t browse the internet overly much, and are probably (my assumption) even less likely to play games.I like the barbell analogy for Android, but not for age. I see Android having a strong cheap/don’t care market, and a very loyal (though much smaller, so this barbell is kind of warped) techie community that loves the more open ecosystem with better flexibility, or that is immune (or in some cases, allergic to) Apple’s brand value.Apple continues to lead in college educated and high earners (as Pew and others have shown).

    1. fredwilson

      you may well be right about the barbell

  45. sigmaalgebra

    Good questions, but for any answers tobe taken seriously need better data andsome careful analysis. Sorry ’bout that.Then some still better questions would help, e.g., questions more directly connected with making money.

    1. fredwilson

      this post was a plea for more data

  46. Dave Pinsen

    What kind of soup was it?

    1. fredwilson

      chicken curry. it was good.

      1. takingpitches

        First sentence inspired me to throw together a stockpot of veggie minestrone!

  47. Adrian Cockcroft

    There is also a geographic split. It appears to me that there are more iOS on the west coast and more Android on the East coast.

  48. markslater

    for me it comes down to what Tim Cook said in september.”Regarding Android’s commanding share of the mobile phone market, Cook cited research showing 55% of all mobile web activity comes from iOS devices. He asked, “Does a unit of market share matter if it’s not being used? For us, it matters that people use our products. We really want to enrich people’s lives, and you can’t enrich somebody’s life if the product is in the drawer.”think about that. Thats shocking. Here is a recent pie chart on the platforms for the US market. (intentional market is heavily android (70%).I’d be really interested to know what the actual phone call comparison data is. I barely use the phone for anything anymore. I don’t see my I-phone as a phone – its a device. I am gonna guess android call numbers are way north of I-phone based on the application engagment numbersFor me the future is the march to deep meaningful and valuable device interaction. So far Apple easily wins this.

    1. fredwilson

      just because its not being used today doesn’t mean it won’t be used in the futuremy fear for apple is not what is happening today but the seeds that are being planted

      1. markslater

        i continue to trust in their sea-change approach to product design. The iphone was not an iteration it was a revolution.There are others coming from this company – i am in no doubt.

  49. Joshua Ellinger

    We do reporting on one of the major telcos on their direct mail campaigns. We help send 1/3% of all direct mail in the US. Obviously, I can’t share any real data but I can say a couple of things about the demographics.Apple is about 50% of the total activations. Samsung is about 25%. No surprise there.Looking at Q2 activations split into three groups (Apple, Samsung, Rest), I see that Samsung has 0.4% of its activations in 18-24. Apple and rest have 0.2%. Apple is a bit stronger in the 35-44 range but it is not really a big effect.But my opinion is that my data is inclusive. It doesn’t look at the existing install base (which I do not have direct access to), we don’t have age about 65% of the time, it doesn’t normalize for region, and it is based on who pays the bill not who uses the phone.There are a couple of interesting points. First, college age kids are on their parents plans or they don’t have a demographic footprint. Second, Samsung and Apple have very similar profiles. Third, if you are targeting the US, I don’t have any evidence that you are better off targeting Android first — Apple dominates even in the Q2 period before the new phones arrived.Fred – you probably need to go to market survey data to get representative results.

  50. Kabeer

    So, i do think the higher number of games on the iOS app store may well have to do with the devices allowing for a much better game play experience. The android low ends (which cause popularity numbers) dont allow for games to be played well at all.

  51. devin

    Interesting info. I think I’d disagree with the older crowd going for Android though. (And I noticed a previous post had some real data to back this up.) My experience — though of course anecdotal and far less useful than real data — is that I tend to recommend to my parents and people around their age and older (60s) to go with iPhone. The simplified interface is better for people who aren’t as adept with technology, and — huge added bonus — Apple offers tons of free classes in how to use their devices.For everybody else I typically recommend Android, and I’ve definitely observed that the younger crowd goes strongly for Android.

  52. Peter Radizeski

    Not every app is on both stores.

  53. catwell

    I would say the reason for the difference in game ratings is that Android users are less likely to buy their games in the Play Store. Alternative stores and Humble Bundle must hurt this figure.

  54. Kate Harris

    I see some flaws with this assessment. One, the app store algorithms are very different, so where marketing can impact rankings on iOS, SEO really is the only tool to impact ranking in Play. Google’s algo is constantly changing– installs help, uninstalls hurt (along with bad ratings) – whereas you can buy positioning on Apple. I also think what this doesn’t take in account is the incredible variance of Android phones — yes, you can still buy a cheap $45 Android phone (and many continue to), but the Android device market has changed in the last few years– since 2012, 60%+ of activations are on these high-end devices (my unlocked HTC is $600). I think the conversation can’t simply be Android vs. iOS at the aggregate, you have consider the very different user profiles within each OS.

  55. CivicScience John

    The predominant proxy trait is household income, which also explains the age correlations you inferred above.

  56. Todd Hixon

    Android users are differrent from iOS users both culturally and demographically. See some further analysis based on the data from Fred’s post, Pew, and CivicScience:

  57. Peter McDonnell

    I think the data will continue to be inconclusive, there’s lots of factors at play here – new device owners tend to install more apps than older device owners, some devices have two or three lifetimes as they get passed-on / re-sold etc ultimately app store stats are a poor proxy for installed base / addressable market.imho there are three mobile platforms, IOS, Android and Mobile Web. the set of companies that can confidently ignore one or more should be relatively small. everyone else just needs to get on with it.

  58. Valencio Cardoso

    Brilliant Fred. Thanks for your insight. Certainly gives us some food for thought!

  59. Dirk

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and it provided me with a great example of how to organize and collect data. What I am interested in developing might seem counter intuitive at first, but I want to create an application that effectively limits time spent on applications by locking (for a set amount of time) the user out of these highly addicting scroll scroll scroll top-40 applications like Facebook or Instagram, especially games, or even shopping apps like eBay or amazon. I posit that this will not only increase the levels of addiction to the applications by withholding usage, but increase the post quality associated with social media. And it might make people talk to each other a little more in real life!! Anyways, great post, thanks for sharing. If you think this concept is interesting I would love to hear from you.

  60. Iraê

    I think there is something more to say about the utility apps on the spreadsheet. To me almost all apps that are listed as utility should be something that the device OS should take care instead of relying on third parties.iOS is missing QR code reader on the camera app. It used to have flashlight apps on top, but in iOS 7 the quick settings pane added that and now it’s gone from the ranks. I believe emoji should be listed as utility in iOS, as adding another keyboard is a system enhancement.Android has a lot of utilities on it’s top apps. For me this shows how much more Android users need customization to be satisfied with their devices. Either they are replacing native apps with better alternatives (Yahoo Mail and Weather) or adding missing features from the system. Adobe Reader, really? PDF needs to be first class on any OS nowadays. Not to mention the app to “clean” the system — You won’t ever need that on iOS.