Survey: iPhone Users Most Satisfied, More Willing To Pay for Apps

While iPhone and Android use continues to surge ahead in the smartphone industry, Apple's customers are the most satisfied, and its users are more willing pay for apps than those for Google's OS. That's according to the latest survey by AdMob, an ad-serving service for mobile platforms.

According to data from May, 91 percent of iPhone users like their devices and would recommend them to a friend, while 84 percent of Android users feel the same. That's not a huge difference, and shows that Android still has an opportunity to make up more ground on Apple. Palm's Linux-based webOS, found on its Pre line of phones, came in at 69 percent approval.

Of particular interest to developers are the findings that iPhone/iPod Touch users download about twice as many paid apps as Android and webOS users. The survey said that about half of iPhone owners and 35 percent of Touch owners download paid apps; those numbers are 24 percent for Pre owners and 21 percent for Android owners.

Google can't be happy with that statistic. One possible reason for it is the inferior experience, for both developers and users, that Google's Android Market offers compared to Apple's App Store. In the case of Pre, its store offers far fewer apps of any kind -- paid or unpaid -- for customers.

Palm may be on the upswing, however: It's currently offering a half-off sale for most apps in its Palm App Catalog, to encourage more app downloads. In addition, Palm officially became part of HP yesterday, finalizing a deal that was announced several months ago.

Some other interesting tidbits from the AdMob survey:

  • There are about twice as many U.S. users of iOS -- defined as those who use the iPhone, Touch and iPad -- as Android, and that number rises to about 3.5 to 1 globally.
  • HTC has a commanding lead over other Android OEMs. Globally, HTC has about 53 percent of the market, owing in no small part to its large number of offerings -- six of them showed up in the survey. The number one Android handset, however, was the Motorola Droid, with 21 percent of the market, and 30 percent overall. That puts Motorola in second place in total number of Android handsets.
  • iOS is truly global. Fewer than half of all iOS devices -- 48 percent -- reside in the U.S.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.