Phone Wars: What the Fans Say

Yesterday I got to attend an event put on by some friends of mine here in Toronto called AndroidTO. The event was interesting as they featured two streams of information. One room focused on the development side of things, while the other looked at the business side. And although the event was focused around the Android platform, there was plenty of talk about mobile devices in general.

As I hid in the back from Android fanboys with my iPhone I started to think about the difference of the two operating systems. I did a quick search and found a chart from eMarketer that showsUS  market share for phone operating systems. Turns out that iOS and Android are fairly close, but iOS  is the dominent OS.

This, however, wasn’t enough for me. So, I turned to the world of social media to see which was talked about and praised more, and what people were saying using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform. I started by looking at a quick comparison of talk between the two over the past six months. We can see from the following popularity chart that iOS is clearly talked about more than Android. Even more in the past few weeks because of iOS5, the iPhone 4S and the death of Steve Jobs.

If we look at this in terms of share of voice, it actually shows that the iPhone software is holds 71.4% of the conversation while Android only makes up 28.5%.

I then broke these numbers down to look a bit deeper into tak about each of the platforms. In terms of Android talk over the past six months, I was able to find 2.7 million blog posts, 1.1 million online news articles, 3.4 million forum posts and 8.7 million tweets mentioning the OS.


Next I looked at the iOS numbers. Here I found 4.6 million blog posts, 1.6 million online news articles, 6.1 forum posts and 27.8 million tweets about the iPhone operating system.

I then compared what people were saying about each. I first looked at buzzgraphs around each phone operating device. It was interesting to see the difference in conversations by the most connected words. In the buzzgraph about the iPhone iOS we can see that a lot of talk seems to be about hardware including other devices that run the OS like the “iPad” and “iPod.” However, when I looked at the buzzgraph about Android, talk seemed a bit more broader. In the Android buzzgraph we can see some hardware talk such as the companies that make Android devices like “HTC” and “Motorola,” but we can also see an almost separate conversation that seems focused on the software side of things like “app” and “gingerbread” (one of the Android OS platform iterations).

Lastly I decided to compare the sentiment around each operating system. This comparison I found most interesting. Here I found that although the iOS has more talk about it, it doesn’t make it better in the eyes of the people talking. When I looked at the sentiment for iOS I found that 37% of the talk about it was positive while 13% was negative. In terms of Android though, the Google operating system only had 12% of it’s conversation as negative while 41% of the talk was positive. These numbers meant that iOS has a favourable rating of 87% while Android came in at 88%.



The eMarketing report I looked at showed that both Android and iOS were very close in terms of market share. After looking at the data around talk of each in the social space, I’d say they’re close as well. The iOS software definitely has more about it, but a lot of that is due to people’s addiction and fascination with Apple hardware. Android, on the other hand, has less talk about it, but a better favourable rating and people seem to talk about it’s software and not just the hardware it runs on.

2 Comments on “Phone Wars: What the Fans Say”

  1. Hey Sheldon, anything we could do here to weed out the recent spikes in apple mentions, like playing around with the boolean operators to omit certain terms causing the numbers to spike? Also, how is ‘addiction and fascination with Apple hardware’ represented in your report results?

  2. Sheldon, it seems like you have spend a lot of time researching this topic. I simply loved the graphical representation of everything. I would like to know what program you used to represent your stats in such a way.

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