KAYAK: iOS Usage Is 3X Android Usage

android jelly bean statue

Photo: Angel Jimenez, via Twitter

Here’s another small, but interesting data point in the debate around iOS and Android.Bill O’Donnell, who runs the mobile group at travel booking company Kayak, tells me, “iOS is 3X what Android usage is, in terms of downloads and in terms of daily unique users,” though he adds, “Android is picking up lately.”

We were speaking in preparation for our panel at Business Insider’s Social Commerce Summit on how to get people to use smartphones to buy stuff. Kayak has done a very good job at cracking the problem. To find out how, you’ll have to come to conference.

Back to iOS versus Android. O’Donnell’s theory for the disparity is that when people buy an iPhone, they buy an iPhone. Whereas when they buy and Android phone, they’re often times buying a smartphone.

He says he spends a lot of time in carrier’s stores buying phones to test. And he often overhears people coming in saying, “Give me a smartphone.” And the sales people push Android. These people end up with a smartphone, but aren’t necessarily thinking of it as a little computer.

iPhone buyers, on the other hand, are coming in and saying, “Give me an iPhone.” And they see it as a mini computer and they try to max out its capabilities, which means downloading lots of apps.

This trend could be changing, though. O’Donnell says this Christmas Kayak saw a boom in Android usage. It was disproportionate to iPhone.

Perhaps the tide is turning and Android users are now thinking of their phones as mini-computers that should be used just like iPhones.

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