Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Although the choice between iOS and Android may sometimes seem like a question of aesthetics, the reality is that the different business models of Apple and Google lead to fundamental differences for your privacy.

Why it matters: Because of the way Google monetizes user data, Android phones can cost hundreds of dollars less than iOS devices. The more you spend, the more likely you are to use a device with more privacy protection and less data collection.

Key differences:

  • iOS anonymizes much of the data sent back to Apple — although the company still collects a broad swath of information.
  • Apple markets privacy as a key feature of its products.
  • Android phones, by design, send a lot more data back to Google, including location and other sensitive information, much of which powers the company's vast ad-targeting network.

Between the lines: Even within the Android ecosystem, there's inequality. Because there are so many different Android-based products, the popular high-end devices are subjected to more rigorous testing by app developers. So low-cost devices may have more glitches.

By the numbers: Studies have shown that the more you earn, the more likely you are to own an iOS device.

  • A 2013 Pew study found that people with household incomes of $74,999 or less were more likely to say their phone was an Android device than an iPhone.
  • The opposite was true of people with incomes of $75,000 or higher.

The big picture: As business models evolve, privacy is more often seen as something you pay for. That’s a concerning trend for privacy advocates.

  • “I think many folks would say that runs the risk of marginalizing the poor,” said Allie Bohm of the public interest group Public Knowledge.
  • Internet service providers experimented with so-called pay-for-privacy plans, where you get a discount if you agree to data collection, but later pulled back on those efforts.

The bottom line: Google isn’t interested in changing its data-driven business model. It does lead to more affordable devices, but those savings can come at a cost to privacy.

Go deeper

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 33,138,963 — Total deaths: 998,380 — Total recoveries: 22,953,639Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 7,116,455 — Total deaths: 204,762 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. States: 3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week
  4. Health: The childless vaccine — Why kids get less severe coronavirus infections.
  5. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases
33 mins ago - Technology

Exclusive: Where Trump and Biden stand on tech issues

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photos: Win McNamee and Saul Loeb/AFP

Joe Biden has laid out a more concrete tech agenda whereas President Trump has focused on tax cuts and deregulation while criticizing tech firms for anti-conservative bias. That's according to a side-by-side analysis of the two candidates' tech records by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: The tech industry needs to prepare for either four more years of Trump's impulsive policy approach or for a Biden administration that's likely to be critical of tech but slow to take action.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Big Tech's share of the S&P 500 reached record level in August

Expand chart
Reproduced from The Leuthold Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

The gap between the weighting of the five largest companies in the S&P 500 and the 300 smallest rose to the highest ever at the end of August, according to data from the Leuthold Group.

Why it matters: The concentration of wealth in a few massive U.S. tech companies has reached a scale significantly greater than it was before the dot-com bubble burst.