AdMob: iPod Touch Owners Apps 'Super-users'

This month's AdMob mobile metrics report compares downloads and application usage across the various smartphone platforms. The company hightlights app downloads by platform/device, satisfaction levels and other metrics. Much of the data this month comes from a survey taken by users on their device:

Respondents were sourced by responding to mobile ads throughout AdMob's iPhone OS, Android and webOS networks. There was no incentive offered to participate in the survey.

There were 963 total respondents: 318 Android, 244 iPhone, 356 iPod touch and 45 webOS. The survey was run from February 5th - February 16th.

Below are a few of the charts from the report, which can be downloaded here.

Survey respondents by gender and age, by platform: 

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The things that are striking in the two graphs above are:

  • Concentration of younger users among iPod Touch owners (young and gaming centric)
  • The fact that Android is male dominated. This is largely a function of the testosterone infused ad campaign by Verizon for Droid.  

Average and paid downloads on a monthly basis:

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The iPod Touch owners are the so-called "super-users" because of the greater number of apps they download. In the second graphic, there are many more paid app downloaders in the iPhone OS camp. This is because iTunes is very easy to use ("frictionless") compared with the other platforms. As an anecdotal case-in-point, I currently have two Android phones and have never downloaded a single paid app. 

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There are also some interesting data in the report about non-phone smart devices:

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Here's AdMob's discussion of the data represented in the two charts above:

  • 16% of iPhone users said they intend to purchase an iPad, compared to 11% of webOS users and only 6% of Android users.
  • Approximately the same percentage of Android users were interested in purchasing the Amazon Kindle as were interested in purchasing the iPad.
  • iPod touches are popular devices among consumers already using smartphones. 1 in every 4 iPhone users currently owns or intends to purchase an iPod touch in the next six months. More than 1 in every 5 webOS users currently owns or intends to purchase an iPod touch within the next 6 months.
  • 91% of iPhone users and 88% of iPod touch users would recommend their device, compared to 84% of Android users and 69% of webOS users. webOS users are 3.4x more likely to not recommend their device relative to iPhone OS users.

This last data point -- webOS users are 3.4x more likely to not recommend their device relative to iPhone OS users -- is really telling (re the Pre/Pixi). I'm a Palm Pre owner and have lived with the phone now almost a year. My dislike for the device has grown over time. I actually like the form factor of the Pixi better; however the Pixi is underpowered compared to the Pre, compromising its appeal.

Palm has been completely overshadowed in the market by the iPhone, RIM and Android. I don't think that Palm is going to be able to come back and will have to sell itself to someone (or come out with new devices that are more competitive, which is harder for the company).

While the Pixi may appeal as a "transitional" device (from feature phones to smartphones) the Pre is now effectively dead. It's simply not going to sell very well anywhere. Palm made some bad choices and strategic mistakes with it. And it's really now too late to correct them. 

Finally, all the data about app downloads again raises the question about the long-term "viability" of apps vs. HTML5 and "Web apps." To the extent that Adobe, Rhomobile, Appcelerator and others develop or refine tools that truly allow developers to "write once" for multiple platforms, then we will see apps survive across a range of smartphone platforms.

Otherwise, we'll continue to see apps written for the iPhone and maybe one or two others. But everything else will be HTML5 otherwise.