Mobile showdown: Revealing the drugs of choice and other insights into the interests of iOS and Android users

By Michael Carney , written on April 24, 2014

From The News Desk

With mobile now the dominant computing platform, the platform war between iOS and Android remains a central battleground. Android may have won the masses, thanks in part to its ubiquity and availability on low-cost devices, but Apple appears to be winning the premium consumers. The question is, how accurate are these broad generalizations and how much more granular can we make our analysis of mobile users?

To do this, Pando worked with Gravity, the recently-acquired interest graphing company for the second in a series of studies – the first focusing on bitcoin – drawing from the company’s detailed (but anonymized) profiles on more than 200 million global internet users. Gravity is capable of analyzing the content these users consume online and, more specifically, the way in which they engage with that that content. That includes analyzing users' corresponding social behavior, including liking, sharing, and commenting in order to map with a high degree of accuracy the subjects that individual users care about.

Turning its attention to the iOS versus Android debate, Gravity reveals that iOS fans are more interested than average in media and consumer platforms including Kindle Fire (25.03-times more interested), Sonos (22.25X), Roku (21.69X), Angry Birds (14.99X), Pinterest (5.35X), Tumblr (3.4X), and HBO (2.85X). On the other hand, Android fans over-index for Google Play (unsurprisingly, by 28.21X), Barnes & Noble Nook (24.52X), XBox Live (10.58X), Netflix (7.16X), and WhatsApp (6.83X).

Taking a more broad look at retail consumerism, iOS fans are 3.3-times more interested than average in online shopping, while Android fans are 20.12-times and 5.96-times more interested than average respectively in Smart Watches and Virtual Reality.

On the business front, Android fans are more apt to show a strong interest in Evernote (16.65X), LinkedIn (6.90X), venture capital (5.44X), and corporate finance (3.85X). The only business topics to feature prominently for iOS fans are TechCrunch (13.55X) and Bitcoin (7.93X).

Interestingly, iOS fans demonstrate a slight affinity for dating at 0.12-times more interested than average, but a dislike of marriage at 0.37-times less interested. Android fans don’t index for either topic, but show a 0.43-times weaker interest than average in spirituality and 1.93-times greater than average interest in alcohol. iOS fans appear to be strongly interested in pot, 0.85-times more so than average, but slightly nonplussed in cocaine at 0.20-times less than average.

Both camps seem to have a general dislike of team sports, with iOS fans under-indexing for basketball (-0.65X) and football (-0.53X) in general, and Android fans showing more of a league bias against both the NFL (-0.49X) and NHL (-0.41X). Android fans are big yogis, at 2.86-times above average, but not too interested in running at 0.44-times less than average.

To be clear, Gravity doesn’t choose the topics against which to measure consumer interest. Rather, the company simply interprets the data based on these users' media consumption patterns and lets the chips fall where they may.

In this case, the data doesn’t seem to support the conclusion that iOS users are more or less sophisticated or financially well-off than Android users. Rather, it simply shows groups with different interests and preferences.

That said, the availability of interest data like this is the kind of thing that’s sure to have marketers and advertisers salivating. Just remember, if you want to attract iOS users, dating and marijuana will get you further than marriage and cocaine.

See the full Gravity mobile platform Interest Graph below:

Gravity iOS vs Android Interest Graph