Answering Questions about Mobile Devices

Mobile is super hot now and has been for a while. I know, duh.

If you’re in development, you’ve been thinking about mobile, or at least, your users have been pushing you to do that. We’ve dabbled with mobile a bit, e.g. Anthony’s (@anthonyslai) Android app for WebCenter, but being Android guys, we tend to build for Android.

Photo by Mark Wallace from Flickr used under Creative Commons

We know iOS is huge, as the demand for the Oracle People app and the many other Oracle iOS apps show, but questions linger.

How do the numbers of Android and iOS users compare? How often are people switching? Where are all these BlackBerry and Nokia users? Do they plan to jump to Android or iOS? What about webOS? Is it relevant?

Of course, these are now both smartphone and tablet questions.

So, rather than assume we had the answers, we asked. About a month ago, I floated a mobile survey out to Connect, OraTweet and various mailing lists to get a picture of the mobile demographics.

Here are some interesting tidbits from the 130 responses I’ve had so far.


  • The three most common devices within the company: iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. Not terribly surprising, although the iPad nearly topping Nokia phones for fourth is a surprise. This has to be a function of the survey audience.
  • Among the three most used devices, iOS dominates with the iPhone first and iPad second, well ahead of Android phones in third.
  • Interestingly, the iPhone was third among top devices people carried before their current device, ahead of BlackBerry and Android. This could be iPhone upgrades vs. switches.


  • I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that 78% of the people responding have upgraded their phones more than twice since 2007.
  • 30% of them have upgraded at least three times since 2007.
  • The overwhelming reason was “I wanted a better device” and 88% are totally satisfied that their upgrade is better.
  • 58% either already have a tablet or will definitely buy one within three years.


  • 66% use their personal devices to do work. Take note IT departments of the world. This isn’t an isolated data point.
  • When asked to rank the three features they like the best, people said 1) email, 2) web browser, 3) phone.
  • When asked to rank the three features they use the most, people said 1) email, 2) phone, 3) web browser.
  • So, people don’t like the phone feature of their phones? I’ve heard that from iPhone users, and it’s an eye-opener.
  • I was shocked that third party apps didn’t crack the top three in either list.

A few surprises in there. Probably the biggest takeaway is that people won’t be keeping their devices very long, and therefore, they’ll be continually expecting more from them.

If you’re feeling left out, you can complete the survey too. Don’t worry, it’s short, and there aren’t any confidential questions. We plan to use the results for our own edification and possibly discuss them in an anonymous way like I’ve done here.

Here’s the link.




  1. Jake,

    66% of people using their personal devices to do work only surprises me because the number seems a little low. More and more folks are moving to personal tool kits to get their work done, and taking those tool kits with them when they move to a new job or gig.

    On the Web browser usage…Really? I’m shocked too. Would think that apps would run far ahead of browser, even for web access.

    Good stuff as usual. Thanks!


  2. I’m not surprised by the 66% either. Like you, I expected higher as well. Work bleeds into personal life so much that it’s inevitable. IT needs to be faster to account for this trend.

    Maybe the survey wasn’t clear enough about apps. That was a shocker. Did you take it?

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