It is perceptible that Android is a winner of an operating system among mobile enthusiasts. The battle between Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS on popularity has been going on since the inception of Android. The irony is, despite the fact that Android is more popular, most apps debut in iOS platform. Unsurprisingly, Android users wait for a week or a month more to get the same app on Google Play Store. Sometimes it takes even a year, or worse it doesn’t get launched for Android at all. For an instance, the recently launched FireChat messaging app was first released in iOS around two weeks back. Same was the case with Instagram which was launched in iOS 18 weeks prior to the Android launch. Why so?
To begin with, Android users have access to plenty of apps via the Play Store. The number of apps for Android easily overshadows the number for iOS, owing to the reasons – magnifying number of Android users and the free platform of AOSP. Developers can experiment their creativity and innovation on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Still we see a majority of sophisticated apps debuting in iOS. The reasons can be as follows:
- Finance – Apple have always marketed their products as class apart in terms of its grandeur and elegance, and evidently not everyone can afford an Apple product. It is more of a lifestyle proposition than a necessity driven product. On the contrary, Android users are perceived as an economic and budget driven enthusiast. It may sound bitter but the truth is, iOS with a much lesser user base, still manages to extract five times more earnings per download than in Android. Now isn’t that lucrative from a developer’s point of view?
- Presence – Recently a map was created by Mapbox, based on 280 million tweets across America and the mobile devices used to post them. The resultant map is an astonishing image of the wealth division in U.S. Clearly, wealthy parts were tweeting via Apple devices while the poorer areas were doing the same via Android devices. Apparently the same can be witnessed across the globe – Richer countries use Apple products while developing nations thrive on Android. To further segregate, even urban areas of developing countries have much more Apple users than its rural counterparts. Point is, rich users can afford to buy apps while the less wealthy ones enjoy the free Android world.
- Developers – it is much easier and cheaper to develop apps in iOS than in Android, owing to the fact that there are plenty of tools to make iOS apps. Besides, Android OS suffers from major fragmentation due to different manufacturers making their own versions of the OS. And the extra time needed to develop, design and release an app in Android, causes it to cost 2-3 times more than its cost in iOS.
Critics also claim that since Android doesn’t have an impressive presence in the U.S. as compared to iOS, most developers ignore it. Although, many might not believe this reason whatsoever.