Your Smart Phone Says a Lot About You

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IPhone, BlackBerry, Android? Marketers are cluing in to your answer

If you use the iPhone you may be likelier to have more sexual partners than users of other popular smart phones, new data suggests. Meanwhile, BlackBerry owners tend to be more business-minded and Android users are bird lovers.

Sound like you? As smart phones make inroads into the cell-phone market, a growing number of companies are collecting data that profiles who uses which type of phone or phone operating system.

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Android Hits BlackBerry's Turf

For the past few years, Research In Motion has been fighting a rear-guard defense of its BlackBerry smart phones against Apple iPhones. Now there's another competitor on the horizon in the business market: Google Android phones.

Just as your car, dog or job can offer clues to your personality type, now your phone, in some ways, may help to define you.

People who use phones with the Android operating system are younger; a higher proportion of 18- to 24-year-olds use Androids than iPhones, according to Nielsen Co.'s Mobile Insights survey.

BlackBerry users are mostly in the 37- to 55-year-old range and tend to use their phones more for business purposes than entertainment. BlackBerry (NasdaqGS: RIMM - News) has been around longer and has a larger share of the U.S. market — 35% to iPhone's 28% and Android's 9% — though the latter two are starting to gain.

IPhone users tend to be more affluent and better educated. As with all smart-phones users, iPhone owners are mostly male.

"Younger, male, higher income, more education — that's along the lines of what you see with a typical early-adopter consumer-products profile," said Don Kellogg, senior manager of research and insights at Nielsen.

"Apple customers tend to be a little more affluent but then also some of the Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - News) products tend to be more expensive in the phone world," he said.

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IPhone Users Prefer Chicken

They also apparently prefer chicken to pork ribs, which is a favorite among Android users, according to Coupons.com.

Patrick Crisp, a spokesman for Coupons.com, said he stumbled upon some notable differences between iPhone and Android users based on their digital coupon behavior with the company's Grocery iQ shopping-list application, which isn't available to BlackBerry users.

While women's body wash was the top coupon used in the body-wash category among iPhone users, men's body wash topped the list among Android users.

Telling, too, of the iPhone profile was that baby products are overwhelmingly more popular with those users — nearly 42 times more — than Android users, who used pain-relief coupons at double the rate of iPhone users.

And who knew? Android users are bird lovers while iPhone owners prefer the serenity of fish for pets, based on which pet-food coupons they download.

Also, it turns out iPhone owners may be a bit more promiscuous than other smart-phone users, according to OkCupid.com, an online dating service.

[The Cellular Money Pit]

OkCupid.com asked its users what kind of phones they use, and then for the 9,785 users who had smart phones, collated that data (on an anonymous basis) with their number of sexual partners. The findings: Women iPhone users had an average of 12.3 partners by the time they turned 30, compared with 8.8 partners for their counterparts who use a BlackBerry, and a mere 6 for those who use Androids. The numbers were similar for 30-year-old men iPhone users.

Android users can take comfort in knowing that they are considered more valuable than iPhone users to advertisers, according to Chitika, an online ad network. That's because they clicked on ads a whopping 81% more often than people on the iPhone.

And teenagers are far more receptive to mobile ads than their parents or grandparents, according to a separate study by Nielsen. That makes them a perfect target for mobile advertising. Fifty-eight percent of 13- to 17-year-olds said they always or sometimes look at ads compared with 42% in the 35- to 44-years-old range and 28% of those older than 55.

Fun Facts, and Possibly a Coincidence

Of course, none of this data has any grounding in social science or human behavior. It could all be pure coincidence, not causality: iPhone users tend to be more affluent, which means they may be apt to spend more lavishly than their business-minded colleagues on Blackberries.

Android users are less educated than users of other phones, but they're much younger too. Of course, they wouldn't have masters and doctoral degrees in their early 20s.

In other words, don't try to pick your next mate based on what kind of phone he or she uses.

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Jennifer Waters is a MarketWatch reporter, based in Chicago.

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