What's in Your Pocket?

Ad Age (Very Informally) Surveys Marketing Execs to See Which Smartphone They're Toting

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Kunur Patel
Kunur Patel
With Google's mobile software creeping dangerously close to iPhone in U.S. smartphone market share (Android is in spitting distance of Apple's nearly 25%, according to ComScore), Ad Age decided to check in with ad and marketing execs to see if any of them are defecting from the beloved Apple device to Google phones.

Early results: Not on your life. Love for iPhone still runs rampant in adland, despite all the dropped calls and antenna complaints. However, Android phones are definitely popping up in the management ranks, and those jumping iPhone ship for Google-powered alternatives are beginning to emerge.

Here's what we learned:

You can't pry BlackBerrys out of their cold, dead hands: Despite the buzz around iPhone and Android, many execs won't give up the BlackBerry, which is still the No. 1 smartphone in the U.S. "Reception and reliability trump features and cool factor every day of the week, so I'm still a slave to BlackBerry on Verizon," wrote Sarah Hofstetter, senior VP-emerging media and brand strategy of digital agency 360i.

iPhone4Life: Those that carry iPhones are most likely toting the latest and greatest, iPhone 4. There's still a whole lot of them. Tristan Walker, head of business development for Foursquare, said it best: "iPhone 4 (and maybe 5 ...) for life!"

The desktop is dead. Long live the iPad: Granted, it's vacation time for many friends of Ad Age, and they likely can't pry themselves from work email, but this survey finds the majority of execs responding from their iPads or other mobile devices. (The lone iPad dissenter, JetBlue marketer Marty St. George, however, much prefers his pocket-sized Samsung Galaxy tablet, he writes via BlackBerry.)

IDefectors: We do see early signs that the tide's turning from iPhone to Android. Some execs opted for Android once their patience for iPhone's notorious service ran out. Daniel Stein, founder-CEO of digital agency EVB, traded in his iPhone for the Sprint Evo Android phone, which has super-fast 4G mobile internet, and hasn't looked back. "Regardless of how cool the iPhone was and how powerful the applications are, I made the decision that the reliability of the phone was more important than the power of the applications," he wrote, adding that, at the time of the switch, he was dropping 15 to 20 calls per day.

Others are waiting for contracts to expire -- or that final straw -- to make the switch: "Since I have had [iPhone 4], all I can do is think about how I can get rid of it," wrote Daniel Khabie, CEO of the recent WPP acquisition, digital agency Digitaria. For him, Facetime hasn't proven practical, and problems with reception have made Android devices attractive. "I expect to be on a Droid in the near future," he added. "I actually purchased one recently and might use it just to make calls. Isn't that what phones are for?"

The Killer Couple: A handful of execs are doubling up, carrying two phones by adding an Android to their pockets. The Droid X and Droid Incredible seem to be popular companions for iPhone 4.

Depends on the client: Like good little admen and women, lots of agencies stick with whatever it is their clients are making. Microsoft and Apple, you can be sure your agencies -- you know who you are -- are proudly carrying Windows Phones and iPhones.

How about you readers? What are you carrying? Have any of you broke up with your iPhone recently? Let us know in the comments.

Kunur Patel is a digital reporter at Ad Age. Follow Kunur on Twitter at twitter.com/kunur.
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