PC vs Mac. Nintendo vs Sega. Playstation vs Xbox. Android vs iPhone. There are technological confrontations, and they always attract large audiences. If you stumbled across this map, don’t be fooled.

Android iOS map

The comparison between Android and iPhone has been debated for a long time, which is better, which is more common and so on. So we can compare the market shares of OS thanks to different studies and observations, statistics from the internet or even figures from mobile operators.

Recently, a card was widely circulated on social media following a post by Demotivateur.

These maps (…) are the first to show with great accuracy which of Android or Apple is the most widely used in each country of the world, continent by continent.

This is a study conducted by Electronics Hub, details of which can be found here. The question is not which operating system is the most popular, but which operating system is the most popular worldwide.

To conduct this study, they used SentiStrength, an academic linguistic analysis tool. The study was conducted on Twitter, where 347,856 branded tweets from around the world about positive and negative sentiment were analyzed. SentiStrength assigns short texts a score from 1 to 5.

Of the 142 countries we surveyed, 74 prefer Android and 65 prefer Apple

The results obtained allowed them to create several world maps on which they classify Android and iPhone according to people’s preferences.

Why you should be careful with this study

Twitter data has many qualities that appeal to researchers and other marketers. They are extremely easy to collect. In addition, they are available in gigantic quantities. And with a simple text limit, they’re easy to scan.

Because of these appealing qualities, several hundred scientific studies have been published using Twitter data, including several attempts to predict disease outbreaks, election results, box office and stock market movements from the content of the tweets alone.

We may use social media data for research, but that doesn’t mean we should. Every social media platform presents its own bias among the users who choose to use it.

For example, Twitter users do not represent people who do not have internet access. In France, Twitter has 16.1 million monthly users and 5.1 million daily users (Médiamétrie, 2022). Of these users, 38.5% are between 25 and 34 years old and 56.4% are men. In reality, Twitter doesn’t represent the whole world at all. Especially since this study is subject to sampling that depends on the vocabulary used, but also on the language in which you tweet.

Under these circumstances, any collection of tweets will be biased, and conclusions based on analysis of those tweets will not be consistent with the characteristics of the population. In short, if you want to study elites and elites’ channels of influence, Twitter is certainly a good candidate. This also includes a high proportion of technology products such as smartphones, especially premium phones.

A biased sample cannot be corrected by collecting more data, and this bias has important implications for research based on Twitter data. Suggesting that the Twitter data is not appropriate for studies where representativeness is important, such as the Electronics Hub study topic.


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