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Palm Pre and Palm Pixi

If there’s anything we love about AdMob, it’s all the reports they compile for our perusal. The latest is their January 2010 metrics report, which in addition to the standard global and regional breakdowns of OS and device usage, included a sampling of data on the demographics of those users. In particular, AdMob looked at the age, gender, and app download patterns of iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, and webOS users. There’s a lot of interesting, if marginally relevant data in there, and we’re going to take a look at it all after the break.


Gender The iPhone, iPod Touch, and webOS user bases are all fairly similar in their gender distribution, which is to say that they skew slightly to the male side. Why high-end technology ends up in the hands of men more then women is up for debate (we lean towards the “Oooh, shinies!” theory here at PreCentral). iPhone users were 57% male, iPod Touch owners just 54% male, and Palm webOS users skewed to 58% male. What is interesting, though, is how much more Android landed in man hands, to the tune of a 73% male userbase.


Age The average webOS user is 36 years old. While in the middle of the Android (35), and iPhone (37) averages, the numbers are so close together to not be statistically different. iPod Touch owners, however, are much younger, landing with an average age of 23. Between different age groups the smartphone platforms are just about evenly matched, with the iPhone scoring a few more younger (less than 17 years old) users while webOS garnered more middle-aged users (35-44 years old). As evidenced by the notably younger average age, many more youngsters have an iPod Touch in their hands than a cellular-enabled smartphone - some 65% of iPod Touch owners are younger than 17. Of note, webOS had the smallest portion of adolescent users, just 2% of the userbase is pegged at younger than 17 years old.


App Downloads On average, a webOS user is less apt to download an app from the App Catalog than an Android or iPhone OS user is from their own respective app repositories. The average webOS user downloads on the order of 5.7 apps a month, of which just 0.6 are paid apps - 10% of downloads. Android, on the other hand, logs 8.7 downloads per month per users, with 13% paid. The iPhone’s expansive App Store selection hasn’t netted significantly more downloads, with the average user pulling down 8.8 apps a month, though a full fifth of those are paid. When combined with the age statistics, the download count shows just how much the iPod Touch is used as a gaming platform: the average iPod Touch user downloads 12.1 apps a month, with 13% of those paid.


Recommend All this leads to user satisfaction, which leads to word of mouth sales, which leads to something that Palm would like very much right now: profits. As you might expect, iPhone owners are more than satisfied with their purchase, with 91% replying that they are likely to recommend the device to friends, and just 3% saying no. iPod Touch users are more or less the same, with 89% willing to recommend, and 84% of Android users saying the same. What is telling for Palm is that only 69% of webOS users would recommend the platform to their friends, and 11% would outright turn their fellow man away from Palm devices. Obviously there’s not one single issue that would lead to such results, though we can be sure that it’s some combination of app selection, interface speed, and build quality.

What these numbers show are two things.

  1. Palm needs more apps and better ways to promote those apps. Check out Apple’s commercials for inspiration. While the open App Catalog feeds are awesome and we at PreCentral are proud to have been able to work with Palm at the launch of them, they’re really for the sort of niche market that we serve. That’s the niche market that’s already downloading apps.
  2. Palm is having no trouble reaching across age demographics and gender groups. Their performance here is on par with results for iPhone and Android users. The problem is that not enough people in general have been convinced to buy a Palm phone - no single demographic slice needs to be exploited to gain precious sales.

[via: TechCrunch]