The mobile engagement gap – Android vs iPhone

The great Luke Wroblewski posted an interesting collection of statistics detailing some key differences in engagement between Android and iPhone users. This is a followup to a piece he posted last year.

Luke provides several data points that all boil down to one thing: iOS users are far more likely to do the following on their phones:

  • Browse the web
  • Shop online
  • Click on ads
  • Pay for apps

Why this is remains a mystery. There were some theories about the older Android OS and it’s poor UX, but even as newer versions of Android have come to dominate the market, the engagement gap continues.

Perhaps at a later date we can dig into the root causes of this. For now for those of us in the web and app business, the key takeaway is clear. In a world where there is never enough time or resources to do everything you want, you should prioritize iOS work over Android work.

  • If you’re building an app, build for iOS first then build your android version.
  • If you’re QAing a web site, QA for iOS first, then for Android.
  • If you’re optimizing for search, optimize for iOS users, not Android.

Sure, if you have Facebook or Netflix money, you can build apps for every platform. But for the rest of us, when choosing where to allocate our resources, we should always remember that the iOS users are the ones that will actually make you money.

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