The iPhone and Android are (unsurprisingly) duking it out as the most desirable smartphone platforms among consumers, according to October 2010 figures from research company Nielsen.
One interesting factoid from the data: Among smartphone upgraders, men slightly prefer Google’s Android platform over the iPhone (33 percent vs. the iPhone’s 29 percent), and women prefer the iPhone by a significant amount (31 percent vs. 23 percent for Android). RIM’s BlackBerry platform is the third-most desirable platform by gender, garnering interest from about 13 percent of both men and women.
Marketing may be a big reason for the gender preference. Ever since Verizon’s $100 million marketing campaign for the original Droid last year, Android phones have generally been marketed as “manly” devices, and at the same time they position the iPhone as “girly.” T-Mobile’s ads for the MyTouch 4G, which feature an attractive young woman representing the device, is the first major Android campaign I can think of that’s more female-centered. (Notably, T-Mobile’s ads also resemble Apple’s Mac vs. PC ads.)
Looking at platform desirability outside of gender, the iPhone has a 2 percentage point lead (30 percent vs. 28 percent) over Android in terms of likely smartphone upgraders. Current featurephone owners prefer Android slightly by 3 percentage points, while current smartphone owners are looking forward to the iPhone more by 7 percentage points (35 percent vs. 28 percent). Featurephone owners are less likely to have decided on their next smartphone platform — 25 percent say they’re “not sure”, compared to 13 percent of smartphone owners.
Nielsen reports that 29.7 percent of all U.S. mobile subscribers own smartphones that run “full operating systems” like Android, or the iPhone OS. The iPhone and BlackBerry are fighting it out overall device dominance with around 27 percent of the market each, but Android isn’t far behind at 23 percent.