Android Vs IOS: Who Is the Leading Apps Development Platform?


There’s an ongoing debate in blogosphere regarding who’s the biggest – Android or iOS? Every tidbit of competitive information becomes the source of a whirlwind of further speculation. Android apps development has certainly caught up with Apple’s and today, both have almost the same quantity of third-party programs. Some reports state Apple, with its quality of apps, is slightly ahead while others declare Google to be the king. But it’s childish to have such data obsession, especially in isolation; rather, getting a clearer idea of where the world’s top two mobile operating systems stand with respect to multiple data points will give cynics and level-heads some food for thought. So lets find out who gets to wear the crown in the mobile platform duel.

Which apps platform sells the maximum smartphones?

Android smartphones outsold the iPhone by a considerable margin for the period November 2012 to February 2013: 52 percent against 44 percent. A noteworthy point here is that past studies haven’t been all that conclusive. Earlier last year, the same report showed iOS to be in the lead. It can be safely assumed that the results show a momentary trend rather than a permanent reality.

Comscore also shows sales data to be in Android’s favor which stands at 52 percent compared to iOS’s 38 percent. But these numbers are for the US alone. What about the rest of the world?

Worldwide smartphone sales

Phone companies using Android are selling more units than the Apple iPhone. According to IDC, Android sat pretty with a 70 percent market share whereas the iPhone had a mere 21 percent. That explains the growing number of Android app developers from all corners of the globe, including the likes of 23-year old Mehvish Mushtaq who belongs to Kashmir, and has recently shot into the limelight with an app titled ‘Dial Kashmir’ with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars in the Google Play Store.

What about tablets?

The shipment data for tablets is hard to unearth compared to phones; here, we have to be content with IDC’s estimates for 2012, which released on December 5. Though 7-inch Android tablets were in demand, eating away into the iPad‘s share, iOS was able to retain top spot in tablet operating systems. The numbers: 54 percent for iOS and 43 percent for Android.

Who is selling more?

Which phone manufacturer is selling more worldwide? IDC picked Samsung, which had a 29 percent stake in smartphone shipments, as the leading manufacturer (unit-wise) in the last quarter of 2012, followed by Apple at 22 percent. Are 800,000 Android apps behind Samsung’s success? That’s a topic better left for another day.

In the US though, iPhone shipments outdid Samsung according to Strategy Analytics. Interestingly, the research firm’s numbers were for “mobile phones”, and hence may take into consideration feature phones in addition to smartphones. Anyways, the competition here was more fierce with Apple and Samsung generating 34 and 32 percent respectively.

With Amazon taking Android app development to a new high by introducing its Appstore to 200 more countries, the war is going to get bloody appealing.

John Murphy is a senior analyst at one of the world’s leading research firms and has been extensively studying the smartphone segment for the last 3 years. He strongly believes that outside the numbers game, it’s the people who are the actual winners with better quality devices and technology at their disposal.

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