What your gadgets reveal about you
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What your gadgets reveal about you

By Andrew Eisner

Whether you're a Mac or a PC, an iPhone, Android, or a BlackBerry user, the gadgets you use say something about you. Based on Retrevo's 2010 Gadget Census, gadget owners exhibit different behavior and characteristics depending on which gadget camps they belong to. Here's a list of some of the more interesting conclusions we've drawn from looking at the gadgets people use in thousands of households across the country and around the world.

Mac Owners Buy More Apple Products

It may not come as a big surprise that computer owners who indicated they use the Mac OS as their primary OS, purchase more iPhones and other Apple gear. In fact, households, where the Mac OS is listed as the primary OS, purchase more than three times as many iPhones and almost 6 times as many iPads.

Once You Go Mac You Never Go Back

Although Windows still dominates Mac OS by a very large margin, the Gadget Census detected some interesting patterns in the Mac vs. PC duality. In households where PCs are the primary computers, Macs are unlikely to be found. On the other hand, in Mac households, PCs are very commonly found. We're not sure if this is a result of households that once used PCs and changed to Macs, or the latest generation of computer users prefer Macs but in either case, the trend looks like it favors Apple.

iPhone Owners Think (and Act) Different

iPhone owners are different in many ways from owners of other smartphones, they are typically younger than other smartphone owners (especially BlackBerry owners) and tend to be earlier adopters with activities like buying things with their iPhones and watching TV online. On the other hand, in some ways they are not quite as different as they would like to think of themselves. Turns out, they rent more movies from Blockbuster (23% more likely than Android owners) and are more likely (22% than Android owners) to not even know what kind of TV they have than their Android and BlackBerry counterparts.

Android Owners Don't Need Land Lines

Is the cell phone service in your home reliable enough for you to give up your land line? Not surprisingly, the Gadget Census found more Android owners than iPhone owners have cut the cord and gone cellular at home. We don't know what the reason is, but could the fact that Android owners are 35% more likely to not have a land line have something to do with the reliability of AT&T's coverage?

Android Owners are More Technical

You would expect that a smartphone running Linux would attract a techier consumer and the Gadget Census bears that out. Android owners own more of the techier type gadgets like netbooks and e-readers than owners of other smartphones. They use fewer GPS devices in the car as well maybe the advantage of being in the Google camp with their sophisticated map technology could be the reason. On the other hand those Android owners may be so involved with technology that they don't have time to read books or recycle their old gadgets with 25% more likely to not read books and 20% not caring about recycling

BlackBerry Owners Are Good People, Too

As techie as Android owners are and different as iPhone owners are, BlackBerry owners come across as more normal and, you could say even, old fashioned. For example, the Gadget Census found that BlackBerry owners were more likely to still use a CRT as their primary TV (21% more likely than Android owners) and get their music from the radio and less likely to buy things with their phones. On the other hand, they are 15% more likely to recycle their gadgets than Android owners but also 26% more likely than iPhone owners to live in areas where e-waste recycling isn't available.


Although most gadget enthusiasts all have one thing in common and that is a passion for the latest gear and gadgets, there are also big differences between owners of different types and brands of products. Apple is not just a company but a way of life and a commitment to a line of electronics, Android owners with their choice of carriers could make them more confident cell phone users and BlackBerry owners might agree with the motto slow and steady wins the race.

About the Gadget Census and This Report

This census was conducted online from March, 2010 through July, 2010 and received over 7,500 individual responses from Retrevo users distributed across gender, age, and location. Responses were weighted based on reported demographics to gain accurate estimations of gadget ownership and usage within and across demographics. All data is therefore reported as weighted data in which most responses have a confidence interval of +/- 4% at a 95% confidence level. You can read more at http://www.retrevo.com/content/blog/2010/09/what-your-gadgets-reveal-abo... .

(Andrew Eisner is a computer journalist and the director of content for the consumer electronics shopping and review site Retrevo.com. Retrevo.com is one of the largest consumer electronics review and shopping sites in the world, helping people decide what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Retrevo uses artificial intelligence to analyze and graphically summarize more than 50 million real-time data points from across the web to give shoppers the most comprehensive, unbiased, up-to-date product information they need to make smart, confident purchasing decisions for electronics.)


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