With an overall smaller market share, Apple’s mobile operating system beats Google’s Android OS when it comes to Ecommerce sales by almost 5 to 1. But why is that?
Google’s Android operating system is the most used mobile platform in the world, with an 81% global market share compared to Apple’s 12.9%. The US mobile market also favors Android devices with just over half of smart devices being Android phones and tablets, with a 50.3% market share, and Apple coming in second with 43.1%. These numbers would suggest Mcommerce sales made from Android devices would top the transactions made from Apple iPhones and iPads. That is not the case when looking as the sales numbers for mobile devices.
IBM’s Digital Analytics Report for Q4 2013, shows mobile devices were responsible for 16% of all Ecommerce sales. Breaking down that figure per devices shows iOS devices generated 12.7% of online sales, and Android smartphones and tablets generated only 2.6%. The shopping-cart amounts also favored iPhones and iPads, with an average of $115.42 vs Android with $83.56. When looking for an answer as to why iOS devices placed more transactions than Android, the results that came back were rather interesting.
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Apple currently offers 5 devices, the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 5c, the iPhone 4, the iPad Air, and the current iPad mini. It is not so simple to answer that question when it comes to Android devices. When looking at Android devices, the fragmentation is outstanding. A study done by Open Signal shows their local cellular coverage application was downloaded by 11,868 distinct devices throughout 2013. When looking closer at Open Signal’s data there are dozens of manufacturers, with most of them having dozens of models.
The Immense fragmentation shows most Android devices are being used as a replacement for the soon to be extinct “feature phones”. With obscure companies and devices entering the market at low prices, the customers buying these devices are not necessarily doing so to be on the top of the tech heap, but are rather replacing their old clamshell or candy-bar cellphones. Incapable, slow, and sluggish devices are what make up the majority of the Android market. Apple devices on the other hand are considerably more expensive and receive constant updates to insure a longer lifespan.
The price of the devices also explains the average shopping-cart amounts. As iOS owners spent more on their devices, it is most likely they will spend more with their devices. Apple’s ecosystem from the introduction of the iPod and iTunes encouraged its users to spend money, whether it is on apps, music, or videos. The Android operating system, when first unveiled on the HTC G1, had a marketplace where the majority of the applications were free, and did not have a music and movie store within their app market. Android also allowed for apps to be installed from external sources, in some way encouraging piracy, and free content. Since the G1, the Google Play Store has received revisions and additions of content, and now stands on par in many ways with Apple’s AppStore.
Eventually it comes down to the demographics of the customer bases. As it is with computer based transactions, the wealthier a customer is, the more they will spend in average. As more high-end Android devices are entering the market, and newer operating systems like Windows 8 phones and tablets slowly gaining a larger market share, 2014 should show more diversity within the mobile shopping space.