The mobile operating system you choose may determine the fate of the U.S. presidency in the November election. Certainly, it's likely to dictate whether you're bombarded with pro-Barack Obama ads or pro-Mitt Romney ads as you browse the mobile Internet this year. A new study from Localytics found that 70 percent of the states with the most active iPhone users vote Democratic, 70 percent of the states with the most active Android lean Republican, and critical swing states are clustered in the middle.
The presidential candidates' respective campaigns may use those nuggets of information as we head toward Election Day, Localytics predicts: "With the Obama and Romney campaigns seeking every advantage, targeted smartphone advertising will be useful when trying to reach Democratic and Republican voters and volunteers in swing states, which cluster around the average iPhone and Android distribution."
This would mark the logical next step in candidates using mobile devices to, er, mobilize supporters and solicit donations. During the 2008 election, both Obama and Republican challenger John McCain used mobile primarily to send unsolicited texts, which resulted in complaints to the FCC, according to Localytics. Now the Democrats and Republicans have an opportunity to hone their mobile and online strategies. (A warning: Those spam texts may be just as prevalent this time around, along with an abundance of tweets.)
"In 2012, both campaigns are eschewing mobile spam in favor of a more calculated, multichannel approach," according to Localytics. "To target new voters and activate volunteers, smartphone marketing via geo-targeted mobile ads (like President Obama on your favorite Pandora station), mobile websites, social media, and geo-triggered alerts has grown in favor. ... Strategic insights into smartphone political ad spending could become an important new weapon in helping tip the balance for battleground states."
In those key battleground states, the Obama campaign might aim "get out the vote" ads at iPhone users and Romney attack ads at Android users, while the Romney campaign might reach out to supporters via Android devices and target anti-Obama ads to iPhones.
For the study, Localytics examined U.S.-based mobile app usage on iPhone and Android devices from May 2012 through June 2012. Generally speaking, the company found that iPhone app usage exceeds Android usage in every state -- but it found a significant variation in the distribution of that share from state to state, with a curious but consistent correlation to whether a given state is projected to be carried by Obama or Romney or if it's still up in the air. (Localytics used projects from the FiveThirtyEight's election forecast.)
Among the top 10 states where iPhone usage is higher than the national average, 70 percent are projected to vote Democrat this coming election. These include Connecticut, New Jersey, Maine, New York, Hawaii, California, and Rhode Island. Alaska, Louisiana, and Arkansas represent the top iPhone-leaning states that are expected to vote Republican.
On the other end of the spectrum, Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Arizona are among the top 10 Android-leaning states and are all projected to vote for Romney in November. New Mexico and Wisconsin are in the top 10 Android-using states but are expected to vote for Obama.
As for the other swing states, most don't show a strong preference for iPhone or Android. These mobile middle-ground states include New Hampshire and Nevada, which both lean toward the iPhone, along with Florida, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Colorado, North Carolina, and Virginia, all of which lean slightly toward Android.
Iconoclastic Iowa stands out as having the second-highest Android usage but is still firmly a swing state.
This story, "Fate of U.S. may hang on winner of iPhone-Android war," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.