The Orange View (on hiatus) Because Apple is great but it isn't perfect


Smartphone class warfare

There's a new Mintel survey out on smartphone users that's mostly rehashing old ground. But midway through Mashable's write-up, there's a fascinating bit of data, which shows the percentage of iPhone and Android phone owners by income:

(Exciting chart cooked up by me)

So based on this survey, the more money you have, the more likely you are to have an iPhone. With Android it's the reverse -- lower income people are more likely to own one. So for example, of smart phone owners with incomes under $25,000 a year, only 9% have an iPhone and 23% have an Android phone.

There could be a variety of explanations. Android phones but not the iPhone are available on low-cost prepaid carriers like MetroPCS. What's the minimum monthly cost for an iPhone on Verizon or AT&T, the two highest-cost carriers in the US market? At least $90, I think. And Android phones generally are available at low prices on all carriers, while only AT&T has the $49 iPhone 3GS for sale. Other thoughts?

The data also lends more credence to the notion that Apple may be about to shake up the mobile market with some kind of groundbreaking low-cost offering, as CEO Tim Cook has suggested in the past. It could be a cheap iPhone for prepaid carriers or, perhaps, an iPod Touch that has a built-in 3G modem. That could run on a low-cost, data-only plan for $20 or $30 a month and rely on Skype, Facetime or some similar services for voice calls.

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Posted by Aaron Pressman

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  1. definitely it’s the obvious: cost of the phone and cost of the plans.

    T-Mobile has cheapest plans and offers only Android. Sprint has lower all in costs and Android only and even one or two of the pay as you go co’s I think have or are getting Android phones.

    By the way, when traveling, my mobile office is a Skype office – makes so much sense.