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What your mobile phone says about you

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, April – September 2016, samples n = 2,136 Apple iPhone owners and 1,729 Samsung mobile phone owners

Are you an extroverted young professional woman who downloads podcasts before pilates? Or a tradie who enjoys a beer and plays mobile games while waiting for the fish to bite? A pokie-playing retiree, or a stylish student? Roy Morgan Research takes a look at how owners of the two big smartphone brands compare when it comes to their demographics, attitudes, lifestyle, satisfaction and phone usage. 

79% of Australia’s 16.2 million smartphone owners use either an Apple iPhone or a Samsung handset. The average Apple iPhone owner is 41 years old and earns $54,000 a year—three years younger but with $7,000 more personal income per year than the average Samsung smartphone owner. The slightly better bet is to describe the typical iPhone owner as she (54% are women) and the Samsung owner as he (51% are men).

Apple has won five consecutive annual Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction awards, and continues to have the more satisfied customers: 92% of iPhone users are satisfied, ahead of 88% of Samsung owners.

Comparing the two groups of handset owners side-by-side, Apple owners are more likely than Samsung owners to have received the device as a gift; Samsung owners were more likely to have bought it themselves.

Owners of an iPhone are the more likely of the two groups to download podcasts or music, while Samsung owners are more likely to download pictures or games.

Many other prominent differences between Apple and Samsung users have nothing to do with the handsets at all: from home status and occupations, to their shopping preferences, activities and sports participation, and media habits.

Compared with Apple’s users, more of Samsung’s rent their home, work in sales, clerical or trades roles (or are retired), shop at discount stores, watch commercial television, go to theatre restaurants, play pokies, work on the car, go fishing, or play sports like cricket, lawn bowls, softball or baseball.

On the other hand, Apple users are the more likely of the two groups to have a mortgage, work as managers and professionals (or be students), to go to concerts, live theatre, amusement parks and the beach, to listen to commercial radio, and do yoga or pilates.    

Finally, it’s worth noting how the prevalence of some attitudes compares between these two crowds of smartphone owners. Although not distinctly about their choice of smartphone, these beliefs perhaps reveal some fundamental drivers when it comes to their choice of handset:   

A higher proportion of Apple owners agree that it’s important to look fashionable and that they’ll buy a product because of the label. On the other hand, more Samsung owners are wary of risk and happy to buy store’s own products over brand names.

Where Apple owners are more extroverted, Samsung owners enjoy their quiet time at home. Where more Apple owners believe technology gives them more control, Samsung owners are more likely to say they find it difficult to keep up with technological change. 

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, April – September 2016, samples n = 2,136 Apple iPhone owners and 1,729 Samsung mobile phone owners

Michele Levine, CEO – Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Almost 13 million Australians use either an iPhone or a Samsung handset as their main mobile phone—representing almost four in five smartphones between them. 

“The majority of both brands’ future handset sales will be to existing owners. 52% of all smartphone owners intend to upgrade their handset at some point, including 23% looking to buy within the next 12 months.

“Unless there is a compelling reason to switch, most consumers prefer to stick with what they know. It is therefore imperative that brands fully understand their own and their competitors’ current users with deep profiling, on-hand now in Roy Morgan Single Source.” 

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%