Amazon Echo users prefer iPhone to Android, study claims

Commentary: A survey of Amazon Echo and Google Home owners suggests that Echo people lean Apple's way.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

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Their owners prefer iPhones?

Ry Crist/CNET

What does your choice of smart speaker say about you? 

Other than you have little regard for your own privacy, that is.

If you choose a Google Home speaker, does that mean you drift Android-ward? And what if you bought an Amazon Echo?

Well, let me me tell you. I have just been made smarter by a piece of research from securities intelligence consultancy Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. 

It chatted with 300 Amazon Echo and Google Home owners between July 11 and 27.

It concluded that those who own an Echo -- which reminds me of the result of an ill-starred relationship between an air-purifier and a lipstick -- have a penchant for Cupertino.

Of those surveyed, 55 percent of Echo users have an iPhone. The remainder have Android. Conversely, 75 percent of those who bought the oversized salt cellar known as Google Home are committed to Android phones. 

Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder of CIRP, insisted in a press release that the proportion of iPhone owners among Echo users was higher than the phone's share of the US market. That stands at roughly 34 percent.

As for the proportion of Android users among Home owners, that was merely consistent with Android's share of the US phone market, he said. (Numbers vary as to how big Android's share is. Some place it at around the 55 percent mark.)

Lowitz didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

When it comes to tablets, Echo owners also skew toward Apple, says the research. 49 percent have an iPad, while 25 percent own an Amazon Fire tablet.

It's easy, but perhaps not best, to draw deep conclusions from these numbers. Yes, it appears that the Echo has sold better to iPhone owners than to Android owners, which might, indeed, be expected. There are, though, far more Echos out there, a situation that Google's presentation today of new Home devices attempted to redress.

In recent research, CIRP estimated that Amazon had sold three times as many Echos as Google had sold Homes.

Still, Lowitz himself admitted that it was early in the proceedings. 

"Even though Amazon has sold 15 million Echo devices, Apple has an installed base of over 140 million iPhones in the US, so Echo hasn't penetrated deeply into the iPhone ownership group," he said. "Yet, this initial data suggests that Amazon has gained a meaningful foothold among Apple's US customer base."

What will happen, though, when Apple's HomePod comes along in December? It retails at a far higher price -- $349 -- than do Amazon's devices. 

Does that mean iPhone owners will immediately express loyalty and throw their cheap Echos away? 

Well, surely.