The Street says Android users know nothing about their phones

The Street says Android users know nothing about their phones
Wall Street blog The Street normally keeps its eyes on the bulls and the bears, but with the smartphone business as hot as it is, the site now keeps a close eye on mobile devices. This past week The Street came to a conclusion that based on statistics that they cited, Android users know nothing about their phones. The editorial basically said that Android users are getting cheap or free smartphones and have no loyalty to the platform. The site says that many Android users are moving up from featurephones and are overwhelmed by the OS. One stat that they cite comes from comScore that says 70% of Android users don't know how to access Wi-Fi on their handset. At the same time, just 29% of Apple iPhone users connect to the internet using only their cellular carrier and that number drops to 13% in the UK. Another stat cited was one we showed you months ago revealing from comScore that  68% of Android users use only their carrier's pipeline to access the web. Also quoted was a stat that came from Apple's mobile software head Scott Forstall, who told those at WWDC 2012 that while 80% of  iOS users are running the latest version of the OS, the same could be said for only 7% of Android users. Of course, that is a bit misleading. The inference is that Android owners don't know how to update their phone when the truth is, only a limited number of Android users have had the opportunity to update their phone.

The brainchild of Jim Cramer, The Street pointed out that despite the large marketshare advantage that Android owns globally, 69% of new apps started by developers in the first quarter were written for iOS while 31% were written for Android. That stat from Flurry Analytics seems to contradict other stats, but does make sense when you look at the numbers from Net Applications. Those figures show that 61.2% of all mobile web traffic comes from the mobile Safari browser while only 18.6% of mobile web traffic belongs to those using the stock Android browser.

Using these figures as ammunition, The Street says Android users are "not tech savvy, never use Wi-Fi, never do web browsing and never update their operating system."  We have already explained the fallacy of the latter statement about updating the operating system and we are sure that not only would many of our loyal readers disagree with the other statements, they would also shoot down The Street's opinion that Android users have no loyalty to the platform.

Before a posse is put together to march to The Street's offices carrying torches, just understand that this just an opinion and everyone is entitled to have one, no matter how wrong you might think it is. It is also a matter of interpreting the numbers. Take the Wi-Fi figures that the blog relies so heavily on. It just so happens that Apple iPhone users need to be on Wi-Fi to get the clearest look at YouTube videos while Android users can get the same sharp look using 3G. In addition, until iOS 6 is released, Face Time users have to use Wi-Fi for the video chatting feature to work. Thus, iOS users have extra incentives to use Wi-Fi that Android users don't have.

We're not saying that someone's opinion is wrong. What we are saying is that there could be different reasons for the numbers that The Street so quickly uses in an attempt to prove its point. They say that the numbers show that Android users are clueless about their phone while we just pointed out other legitimate reasons for the figures.

source: TheStreet



1. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Perhaps The Street's editors should re-focus their energies on tracking bulls and bears? Sure, some Android handset users don't know much about their handset's O/S, but across-the-board? 70% is 7 out of every 10 owners. Doubt it.

3. pandambaba

Posts: 28; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

same here. android is NOT complicated. it's more complex than ios because it's not dumbed down. and it said that we don't use internet and wifi? isn't that one of a smartphones main purposes? they probably took a poll with older people who have mid to low range android phones. total bull

60. poddey

Posts: 77; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

Agree. Android is not complicated to use at all. It may only appear complex at first because it gives you more control over your phone than Apple's iOS does over the iPhone. While the IPhone's grid of icons may be initially more intuitive than the homescreen you're first greeted with on Android, I found that once I told a friend (who came from user a feature phone) how to find all their apps and to think of the homescreen as a desktop on which they could put shortcuts to their favourite apps and widgets that put information and controls within easy reach, it clicked for them and they were then more confident in exploring the phone for themselves. When it comes to loyalty though, I know many 'normal' people who bought or want an iPhone because of the solid build and its premium look, and because everyone, including their friends, seemed to be getting one. Once they started buying apps from the App Store they felt compelled to stay with Apple because they'd already invested in that ecosystem and were content with the user experience and didn't want to have to learn a new UI on a rival platform. I wouldn't call that loyalty. I think the only people who are loyal to a platform are the geeky tech heads. :)

68. tedkord

Posts: 17479; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's the beauty of Android. If you're not tech inclined, you can use it just fine. If you are, you can do great things with it to make it your own.

231. Santi_Santi unregistered

That is true. I work with sprint and the things ive hear about android devices are... i dont want to remember all of them

34. markhsu

Posts: 15; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

The title of the blog entry should be changed to Eric Jackson doesn't know enough to matter.

75. thedarkside

Posts: 654; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

i see it a lot. people coming from feature phones to android typically dont know squat about them. and even after youd show them the basics like how to turn wifi on and off, how to set up email, texting, calls and all that, they still dont know how to utilize it.

77. TheRetroReplay

Posts: 256; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

The Wall Street journal had been really biased against Android lately, either Apple gave them iPhones or they're paying WSJ for those articles. The statements they're making are ridiculous, I've seen just as many if not more iPhone users not know anything about their phone. Ever go into an Apple store? Have you seen how many people are at the genius bar just for help with their iPhones because they know nothing about it?

78. thedarkside

Posts: 654; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

it goes both ways.

212. dmckay12

Posts: 243; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

I love listening to the conversations at the "genius" bar. Sometimes the "geniuses" are evem dumber than the people that they are "helping."

224. jamrockjones

Posts: 345; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

If you follow the link, and read the comments under his article, nearly every single reader that posted something about the article posted negatively about his article. This dude is an idiot and completely biased.

235. zhypher_23

Posts: 195; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

This is bull, Me myself as a tech person knows which one is harder to use, and believe me iOS is very very very easy to use. Here's my Opinion about the two regarding to the use of both: #1 Apl: Apple made their UI Platform very simple+restricted for all ages so those less tech savvy people wouldn't have a hard time adventuring in their UI And: Unlike Android, their UI is very advance, They do not only have plain icons like iOS, files+thing are managed by you, yourself, which I think is very professional IMO #2 Apl: Apple has poor customization, no widgets and such, which in my opinion are very important, because it gives flavor+spice to your UI And: You are free to customize anything you want to your liking, any custom roms+launchers and such *this is where the tech experts take part, making roms+launchers which I think is very tech savvy part of Android, trust me I know a lot of tech savvy people, and majority of them are Android Users. Conclusion: If Wall Street says that majority of Android user are not tech savvy, why do majority of Android users know how to put custom roms+launchers? Explain me that. So does this mean that Apple user are more tech savvy than Android? Come on "The Street" are you going to be that sarcastic to make a silly unproven poll which I believe is not true at all, I sense something fishy about this poll.

2. Alan01

Posts: 645; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Just keep in mind that while The Street is the one with the interpretation of the numbers, the stats actually come from a comScore survey. Anyone who disagrees with The Street needs to focus on the blog's use of the figures to match their viewpoint. The numbers themselves come from sources mentioned in the article. Alan F.

40. xaz0r

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 24, 2012

While my main disagreement is with the conclusions drawn from the numbers, I do believe that the numbers themselves are worth questioning. While a small percentage of users use the stock android browser, that doesn't mean they don't browse the web. All that says is that people don't use the stock browser (probably because it sucks). I myself use Dolphin browser for the most part. There are a lot of browser options though. So I believe that statistic is invalid for the argument being made.

65. tedkord

Posts: 17479; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It all depends on what user agent you set on your browser. I also use Dolphin HD, and I set the user agent to Desktop. When I go to websites, I show up as a Safari user on Mac OSx. Other browsers may use a different UA string for desktop. If your UA string is set to Android, you will show up as an Android user.

214. xaz0r

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 24, 2012

Very true. I usually browse with mine set to Desktop as well because the mobile versions of a lot of websites are annoying to deal with.

42. metoyou

Posts: 279; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Funny, most iOS users I know dont' know s**t about their phone!!!! all they know is asking me back "is there's an app for that?" " or " I dunno, is this like this?"

76. thedarkside

Posts: 654; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

i get that a lot too. im the iphone guru in my group of friends. lol

221. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

Yeah my girlfriend put a live wallpaper on her phone and the girl she works with wanted one too (she has an iPhone4 or 4S). Apparently the convo went like this: Girl: Ooh! I want one of those! GF: It's a live wallpaper. Girl: Where do I get one? GF: Look in the market. Girl: What's the app called? GF: It's just a live wallpaper. Girl: But what's the app called? GF: Just search for "live wallpaper" Girl: BUT WHAT'S THE APP CALLED GF: *Sigh*

80. phatride4ever

Posts: 33; Member since: Mar 01, 2012

They are many holes in this article, and very bias. They make jokes about android names and "educating" android users. You can tell the author was bashing Google. This article was very opinionated and doesn't hold much weight.

84. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Might have well have been written by taco and gallito. That was an article with a definite agenda on its mind. Not gonna waste my time poking holes in it... Swiss cheese doesnt have that many holes in it.

98. LOLpple

Posts: 86; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

In fairness taco is functionally retarded and gallitto cannot sling a gramatically correct sentence together to save his life.

113. thedarkside

Posts: 654; Member since: Apr 30, 2012


4. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The trouble with a blog is that any dumbass can write one and come up with half assed, biased opinions. I think if anything that when the general populace hears about this piece there will be some backlash, because the (rather snobbish) inference is that "Android is popular, but its users don't know how to use it. Therefore, Android users are mostly drooling idiots." I have as much respect as anyone for those who have found reasonable ways to be financially successful, but if this is the kind of stuffy, white bread scoffing that the rich partake in, then f**k them.

94. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Basically android is cheap so people get it. It's what I've been saying all along. I've also said all along that android users aren't tech savvy. They don't even browse the web or know how to access wifi lol.

96. tedkord

Posts: 17479; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

But they do know that changing a user agent string will fool websites and be recorded as a different browser and OS. And they do know that 720p is a higher resolution than 640p. Seriously, you are the biggest argument for Android users (and any 5th grader) being more tech savvy than iOS users. SGSIII, not cheap - most preordered device ever. RAXR Maxx not cheap - biggest selling device on Verizon last quarter. I personally paid more for my Thunderbolt than I would have for an iPhone.

131. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Razr Maxx is not the best selling device on Verizon last quarter it was iPhone. Can you stop ignoring real facts please. iPhone was 50% of ALL smartphones sold on VZW last quarter. 61% of ALL mobile web traffic comes from iOS. You can keep ignoring the facts but reality is stacked against you.

100. LOLpple

Posts: 86; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Hey dumbass, you DO realize the iphone is free, $50, and $150 (3GS, 4, 4S) right? I'm sorry $150 seems like an exorbatant sum of money to you, I'm sure things'll pick up for you!

132. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Actually it's $99, $199, $299, $399

152. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

and what fool would buy that? geeze. its on sale all over the place. only people like you gleefuly pay full retail without checking around first.

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