Many Potential iPhone Users Settling for Android

According to research from, the iPhone (s aapl) is causing cases of mobile device envy in almost a third of Android (s goog) owners surveyed. That’s a lot of users toting around a second-choice smartphone, considering Android’s growing user base.

The report found that nearly 30 percent of Android users surveyed would rather have an iPhone. Many users indicated that price is the only barrier holding them back. “I think it’s telling that so many Android owners desire, yet don’t own an iPhone, which I believe points to price being the prohibitive factor,” a spokesperson for MyPhoneDeals told PC Pro. Another contributing factor is network choice, though that may change soon with the arrival of a Verizon iPhone (s vz).

On the flip side, only 7 percent of iPhone users would consider jumping to the Android side of the fence. “I think the biggest problem Android-based smartphones face is that they’re constantly playing catch-up to the iPhone. Every time Apple does something new the competition follows, which makes the iPhone always seem the most innovative product.” While in fact Apple was actually behind on several major OS features, such as multi-tasking, the unique innovations they do introduce, like the App Store and the Retina Display, have apparently kept them ahead of the game, at least in terms of user perception.

Only 16 percent of those not currently on any platform indicated that they’d seek out an Android phone. Yet 40 percent of smartphones sold during the past quarter were Android devices. Why? Mainly because Android OS runs on a variety of devices, while Apple OS is exclusively on the iPhone. “Android still faces a lack of recognition among consumers, especially women. For example, many consumers may want a HTC Desire HD, yet are unaware that it’s running Android software.”

The bottom line for Apple? Lower prices and freedom of choice when it comes to carrier would draw many Android users into the iOS fold. But Cupertino should act soon, since as users grow used to and invest in a platform (via app purchases), it will become more and more difficult to win them back.

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