As the smartphone wars rage on, it appears that Android has an insurmountable lead. Google-enabled mobile devices enjoy 53 percent market share, compared to only 31 percent for iPhones. And as recently as Q3 2013, nearly 81 percent of all shipped mobile devices used the Android platform.
But although Google may dominate mobile usage, Apple devices lead the pack when it comes to mobile payments (both in-app purchases and proximity payments). According to new research, iOS users are more likely to use their mobile devices to shop. And when they do, they consistently spend more on each individual purchase:
- iPhone and iPad users average $32.12 per transaction, compared to $29.66 for Android-based purchases.
- With mobile proximity payments, the gap is even larger: $9.91 vs. $5.20.
How does one explain Apple’s advantage in the mobile payment arena — especially given its relatively limited penetration in the larger mobile world?
Why Do Apple Mobile Users Spend More?
There are a few explanations behind this trend, including:
- Apple users tend to have more disposable income. 33 percent of all iPhone owners earn incomes approaching $75,000, compared to only 25 percent of Android users.
- The company has more than 800 million iTunes users who already have credit cards linked to their accounts. Consequently, iPhone users are already accustomed to using their devices to shop — whether online, through iTunes or at retail stores.
- Retailers favor Apple — probably because the hardware requirements remain consistent from device to device. Stores that embrace Android must choose between a vast array of competing designs, even if the underlying software is universal.
These reasons help to explain why most new apps usually launch first on the iPhone, with software developers “promising” to release Android versions at some later date. Even with Google-enabled phones outselling iPhones year after year, Apple is the preferred platform for testing and developing new technologies.
And this overwhelming preference for iPhone payment options will only grow with the release of Mobile Pay – Apple's long-anticipated entrance into the mobile payment industry.
How Apple’s Mobile Pay Could Revolutionize Shopping
In September of 2014, Apple announced the upcoming release of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch — devices that come equipped with contactless mobile payment technology.
Although similar payment options exist for countless mobile devices already, Apple wisely approached retailers and banks throughout the development phase. Consequently, Mobile Pay will work at 220,000 retail stores and restaurants throughout the country, including: McDonald's, Nike, Bloomingdale's, Walgreens, Macy's, Target, Staples and Subway.