Why do people choose Android smartphones?

Why do people choose Android smartphones?

Summary: Why do people choose an Android handset over the iPhone?


Why do people choose an Android handset over the iPhone?

Over on The Guardian, Charles Arthur has data collected by Kantar Worldpane ComTech for the UK, and it makes some very interesting reading.

Note: The table originally contained data for RIM, but since enterprise sales were excluded I've chosen to edit out data for that company.

What's interesting here is where Android trumps iOS. First, ease of use. There's not much between the two operating systems in this category but it's still interesting that Android beats iOS in this category, especially given how hard Apple works to make the iPhone easy to use.

The higher scores in the plan (tariff) costs and network operator categories are interesting. What this suggests to me is that OEMs and carriers are working hard to offer better deals for Android handsets.

OS brand score is a real eye-opener. It's easy think of Apple's iOS as the be-all, end-all mobile OS and that it holds the top spot in consumer's hearts. It doesn't, at least not in the UK. It seems that in the UK the Android brand is a far stronger draw for consumers than iOS is.

Then there's handset price - the results here are a no-brainer.

So there you have it - people choose Android over iOS because it's easier to use, customers prefer the plans and the network operators, they like the OS brand, and the handsets are cheaper.

If you're an Android owner, why did you choose it over iOS or RIM or Symbian or Windows Phone?

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware, Mobile OS, Smartphones

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  • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

    And you sir, for posting this survey, Apple is hand you a lawsuit next Friday.
    • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?


      It's more like who cares. WP7 is superior by any measurement, so obviously they're not choosing either phone based on facts or function, but rather emotion and bias ;-)

      If you're part of the trendy herd you choose Apple or the geek herd you choose Android. I just want the best UI, best hand feel and the most functional smartphone, so I got WP7.

      If Android or iOS even get close to WP7 or even replace that stupid crowded desktop UI of static icons, I'll reconsider, but for the moment I'll just use the best ;-)
      • I concur

        @tonymcs@... I've got an Android Phone and an iPad, but my next phone will be a Windows Phone. I'm just waiting for Nokia to bring out some hardware.

        As a user of both Android and iOS, I can tell you that they don't live up to the hype. iOS is the worst, because it has so much of potential, but it's so locked down. WP will ultimately find success, because of their combined openness and incredible features and user experience.
        General C#
      • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

        @tonymcs@... Not exactly. Windows 7 came to the market too late to make a big impact, so the quality of the OS in this case isn't the real problem. The real problem is the lack of apps.
      • W7 lacked too much to become a serious competitor

        and if you look at the HTC Sensation or HTC Evo 3d. There is nothing W7 can offer thats much better than the experience of these phones.

        Galaxy S2 devices are even better.

        Now if the battery could only last a week instead of a few hours, then we would be talking.
      • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

        @tonymcs@... Your username is "tony'mcs' " and you "just want the best UI, best hand feel and the most functional smartphone"...wait for it...so you..."got WP7". lol. OK. Have a nice day :)
    • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

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  • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

    Because it's not from Microsoft!
    • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

      Amen to that!
  • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

    That is what the sales staff are pushing.
  • Where do OS features fit in?

    I thought about why I chose Android, and price was covered, but also there were some OS features I liked, eg: superior google maps features, portable hotspot. Looking at the list, perhaps these factors are showing up under OS Brand or even ease of use, because there doesn't seem to be a category for "unique OS features", which makes it seem like a pretty dumb survey. Also, what is HandBrand?
  • Well, similar reasons..

    I finally dumped my iPhone 3G for an Android 2.2 base Viewpad 7 - which is a tablet AND a phone. I found the iPhone too small for most things, and contrary to the 'higher quality hardware' mantra, my first 3G was plagued with hardware problems ending in the 3G radio dying... just out of warranty, forcing me to buy a replacement at a discount (but still quite expensive). THAT one developed similar problems - but was ok until iOS 4.0 came in - which essentially destroyed the phone for any serious use.

    Then iOS 4.3 came out and bang - my year and a half phone - just half way through my contract - was obsolete. No more updates - no new features - no fixes for existing problems.

    So when I got the chance to pick up what was essentially an unlocked 3G world phone integrated into a 7" tablet, I lept at it and I've never been happier. To my surprise, the Android phone IS at least as easy, if not easier in some ways to iOS. It certainly was cheaper.

    And no more being stuck with the AppStore or one carriers.
  • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

    Because I want a smart phone that I (1) make calls with and (2) use apps on. Too much whining about call quality from the Iphone users themselves, too many problems with antenna-gate etc. In the end, I want to buy a phone that actually has a vibrant, competitive market between the various phone makers and network carriers to allow me the benefit of getting the best bang for my $$. Maybe Iphone with the $39 pricetag is getting close to that.... I got my Droid for $19 a little more than a year ago, plus I don't spend $100 for an "unlimited" dataplan per month. Who in their right mind would spend $1,200 a year for a phone?
  • Analysis a little simplistic?

    This survey doesn't tell you what you think it tells you. Essentially, it tells you how people post-rationalise their purchases. You need a more sophisticated survey if you want to get at the real question.
    BTW, you've slipped up on the analysis, even if you take it at face value. If you add the 'hand-brand' and the 'OS-brand' together, Apple trumps the Androids. For Apple, the brand is the same: Apple iPhone, Apple iOS.
    • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

      @MartinMTurner Yeah, maybe for some manufacturers but not for all! Like say for example, HTC, they're tops in the smartphone game because their smartphones are top notch and solid! Samsung also has very good branding for many people and the Sony name isn't poorly recognized either!

      I think you guys need to stop trying to justify your purchases and just accept that people actually do like android!
      • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

        @Peter Perry I don't think Martin was, or I am, 'trying to justify our purchases' -- he was just stating the fact that while on the Android side, the hardware manufacturer and the platform are 2 different entities, on the Apple side, they're one in the same, so it may not be a perfect analysis when you try to split them up. It would seem you're the one trying to justify your purchases, and need to accept that people like the Apple+iPhone+iOS ecosystem *because* it is an integrated user experience.
      • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

        @Johnny5k did you miss the part where he was talking about post rationalization of people's purchase as the reason why people were favoring android in the poll?
    • My Reasons

      @Peter Perry<br><br>Well said, Mr. Perry.<br><br>I'm a technophile. I've followed the iPhone, since 2007, WebOS, BBOS, Windows Mobile, Android, Windows Phone 7. I just love tech.<br><br>When I stop and think why I chose Android, it comes down to just a few things:<br><br>1. I'm a geek and don't mind beta, so I'll take function over form most any day of the week.<br><br>2. Most of the good Android apps are free if you don't mind the ads--which I don't. For me, ads are an easy way to pay for great free software.<br><br>3. If you haven't guessed by now, I'm a Google fanboy. It's important to me to know that the OS running my phone is backed by a strong presence on the internet. Apple and Windows can compete here...somewhat...but they're both stronger on the desktop than they are on the internet.<br><br>To put this in a slightly different perspective, the reasons I did NOT buy an iPhone are that the branding is too elite (like we're all trying to be cool), which causes the apps to be way overpriced. The OS is limiting instead of freeing and it's backed by a company that hasn't quite made it into Web 2.0 (still relies on desktop apps, connected syncing, etc. and only recently decided to give the cloud a try).<br><br>Ultimately, I think how I feel about the iPhone, as magical as it may be, is what has guided my decision: with the iPhone, I feel like I'm being sold a shiny, attractive-looking bill of goods.
    • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

      @MartinMTurner I was about to say the same-- A lot of Android owners are geeks who like their gadgets (@Kangaruhs for example); but a large number of iOS device owners are made up of more casual users -- users who wouldn't know what an OS -- specifically iOS -- even is; so when asked if they picked the iPhone for its OS Brand, they say no; but when asked if they picked it for the 'hand brand,' they say yes-- because all they know is it's the Apple one that they want.
      • RE: Why do people choose Android smartphones?

        @Johnny5k Dude, 50% of the worlds smart phones use Android and Apple's iPhone is nowhere near close to that! To say that it is mostly geeks using it would be naive. You should try it and see why people really like it!