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iOS and Android Owners Engage Differently With The Cloud

May 19th, 2016

Creative Strategies recently conducted a survey among mainstream consumers in the US about their perception of “The Cloud” as well as their usage of it. Looking at the results, it became clear that, as is often the case, not all consumers are created equal.

Ben has already pointed out some differences between mainstream consumers and early adopters in his article. What we also have, though, is a clear difference between mainstream consumers who own an iPhone vs. an Android phone. Let’s take a look at a few points.

iOS users pay more for cloud
26% of iPhone-using panelists told us they pay $10 or less a month for their cloud service. This compares to 16% of panelists with an Android phone. Six percent of iPhone owners with a cloud service pay more than $10 a month vs only 1% of Android owners. Overall, 83% of Android owners are not paying for their cloud service vs. 68% of iPhone owners on the panel.

Android users rely on the cloud more
We are used to talk about iOS users as the most engaged consumer segment when it comes to apps and services. Yet, for the cloud, the needle swings to Android as 32% of our Android owners said they use the cloud every day and another 32% said they used it weekly. Only 25% of iPhone users on the panel said they used the cloud daily and another 20% said weekly. This could be mainly due to two reasons:

  1. more onboard storage for iPhones which especially works to the advantage of storing pictures
  2. iOS users spend on average more time “in apps” and they might not realize when they are using the cloud, (think music and photos)

Interestingly, accessing work files on the go plays a higher role for Android users (39.4%) than for iPhone owners (30.1%). This might be explained by the fact iOS is now more “officially” accepted in the enterprise while not all Android devices have easy access to enterprise – especially without an MDM client on them. This might drive more of a need to use the cloud as a bridge between work and personal devices.

Apple and Google users trust their respective vendor but not the competition
As you would imagine, iPhone users would trust Apple the most to keep their data secure (67.5%) and Android users would trust Google to do that (44.7%). These were consumers who already have a cloud service so they have decided to trust a provider. What is very interesting, however, is neither group would trust the vendor of the opposing camp. Only 13% of iPhone users would trust Google and only 7% of Android users would trust Apple. Users have been jumping ship from Android to iOS and vice versa but it would be interesting to see if, with the shift in hardware, comes a shift in mindset for these consumers when it comes not just to the cloud but to other services these ecosystems have to offer – think about maps as an example.

Lack of trust the data is secure and cost are biggest hurdles to cloud adoption for Android owners
46% of Android owners who have yet to embrace the cloud told us the biggest reason is they do not trust the data is secure. The same amount of Android owners said they just do not want to pay for it. What is interesting is, for iOS users, trust and cost are nowhere near as important at 34% and 32%. For mainstream iPhone users, the biggest reason why they are not interested in the cloud is the fact the PC is still the main repository for pictures, movies, and music. This speaks to what we have been articulating with regards to how the current iPhone installed base has changed and the implications it has on future growth but also Apple services.

There is hope after all
From our overall survey, it is clear the cloud is still something foreign to mainstream consumers. Interest in using it is there but questions on data security, privacy and willingness to pay for it will all need to be addressed by the providers to see revenue opportunities as well as stickiness. What is promising is that 30% of Android users and 46% of iPhone users are interested in understanding what the cloud is and how they can use it. Hope after all!

Carolina Milanesi

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