by Tom Kaneshige

Android, iPhone, BlackBerry: What They Say About You

Sep 23, 2010
Consumer ElectronicsSmartphones

Do BlackBerry owners worry about becoming obsolete? Do Android owners dream of electric sheep? We all know iPhone owners are just chatty. Check out these and other findings from a couple of smartphone surveys.

Got a BlackBerry? You’re old and recycle obsolete gadgets.

Got an Android? You’re a new-age tech geek who shuns books.

Got an iPhone? You’re a youngster who thinks differently , but not necessarily smarter.

Wait! Before you scroll down and skewer me with your anonymous comments, I admit these stereotypes aren’t really true. They’re just part of a comparison study of smartphone owners by Retrevo, a consumer electronics review and shopping site, entitled What Your Gadgets Reveal About You.

Here’s a breakdown of what each type of smartphone says about its owner:

According to Retrevo’s survey of more than 7,500 responses, 31 percent of Android owners don’t have a landline, compared to 23 percent of iPhone and BlackBerry owners. Retrevo figures this might have something to do with AT&T, the iPhone’s exclusive carrier, and its well-documented shoddy service. After all, a landline offers at least a little more service reliability.

However, it may simply be a matter of timing. Androids are the latest smartphones to hit the market as the desire to also maintain landline telephones is on the decline.

Android owners also appear to be more technical than their iPhone and BlackBerry brethren. They own more netbooks than iPhone and BlackBerry owners, more likely to use their smartphone for GPS navigation, and don’t read as many books, according to the survey.


Meanwhile, BlackBerry owners lead the way (albeit barely) in recycling gadgets: 38 percent of BlackBerry owners recycle, compared to 37 percent of iPhone owners and 33 percent of Android owners. They also tend to be a bit old-fashioned, listening to music on the radio. They’re also less likely to buy stuff via their BlackBerries.

In contrast, iPhone owners tend to make purchases over their iPhones and even watch TV online. Yet they are not as digitally ahead of other smartphone owners as they might want to believe. “Turns out, they rent more movies from Blockbuster (23 percent more likely than Android owners) and are more likely (22 percent more than Android owners) to not even know what kind of TV they have than their Android and BlackBerry counterparts,” says Retrevo.

Differences among iPhone, Android and BlackBerry users were a bit surprising in another survey by Intermedia, a Microsoft Exchange hosting provider. Intermedia found that 50 percent of employees at small and midsized businesses use smartphones to access e-mail.

And it’s interesting to note that Android devices receive more overall messages than the BlackBerry, which has traditionally been viewed as the messaging king. What about iPhone owners? They fire off the most outgoing messages, earning the title of “most chatty,” says Intermedia.

Tom Kaneshige covers Apple and Networking for Follow Tom on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Tom at