If you’re a millennial, you probably remember the era when Symbian was the dominant mobile operating system (OS). However, it only took three years for the mobile operating systems iOS and Android, first released in 2007 and 2008, respectively, to overtake other platforms.
And now, it is safe to conclude that the combined market share for mobile OS is made up entirely of Android and iOS, which has gradually become a never-ending war. Inevitably, numerous significant differences between iPhone and Android users set them apart from one another.
Thus, in this article, we will analyze the key differences between Android versus iPhone users and other aspects of these platforms.
Android vs. iOS Market Share
According to a projection from Counterpoint Research, iPhones surpassed Android-powered devices in the hands of US customers by the second quarter of 2022 for the first time since Apple introduced its smartphone in 2007. The survey also points out that over the previous four years, there had already been a noticeable trend of Android users in the United States switching to iOS.
As per Statista, Google Play is the app store with the most mobile apps available, offering 3.55 million apps to Android users. The Apple App Store has roughly 1.6 million apps available for iOS users.
However, Android still holds the lion’s share of the global market, but iOS is dominating the US market. Below is the 10-year global and US market share of iOS and Android.
|Month/Year||Android (global)||iOS (global)||Android (U.S.)||iOS (U.S.)|
Android Popularity Globally and iOS US Dominance
The market share number of iPhone users vs. Android varies significantly in the US. Along with regaining control of the US smartphone market, the iPhone has diminished Android’s global hegemony. Four years ago, Android accounted for approximately 80% of the global market share. This number has decreased by 10% in less than five years.
Although iOS apps are much better at making money, Android handsets still hold a more significant market share. Despite having a significantly smaller installed base of active users globally than Android apps, iOS apps bring in over twice as much money.
Additionally, there are a few frequent reasons given by analysts as to why Americans like the iPhone over Android in general. Some claim that this is so because Apple is an American corporation, and its products, not just the iPhone, have long been ingrained in popular culture in our country. According to some experts, US consumers have been more open to assertions that the iPhone and the iOS ecosystem are better at security and preserving user privacy.
Analysts note that US consumers are often less price sensitive than consumers in many other nations on the economic front. Apple appears to be the smartphone brand that depreciates the least, making it the ideal option for hand-me-downs and future trade-ins.
According to a Statista Global Consumer Survey, Apple ultimately commands the highest satisfaction and loyalty ratings among major smartphone manufacturers in the US (leading Samsung, Google, Motorola, and LG), but by a very narrow margin.
Differences In Hardware and Software
It’s helpful to review the fundamental characteristics between the hardware and software of Android and iOS to know the significant differences. Android users can pick from a wide range of devices, each with its features, processors, screen sizes, and pricing points. On the other hand, Apple’s iPhone series is the only option for consumers of the iPhone.
One distinction that leaps out, especially for those transitioning from one platform to another, is that whereas iPhones employ a touch-based navigational interface, Android phones often have physical buttons for navigating. The physical buttons on Android phones can occasionally be handier, mainly when operating the device with just one hand. However, this can be a personal preference.
The biggest difference between Android and iPhone users is that Android users can change how their widgets and apps are arranged on their home screens, while iPhone users can only use a grid arrangement. Android users of the former can alter the look and feel of their phones to suit their particular preferences because Android phones often have more incredible customization options than iPhones.
Furthermore, Apple has a far tougher approval process when it comes to releasing apps in the app store, which results in fewer unstable or subpar apps in the App Store. New apps may take longer to be approved and released for Apple devices. However, the case is not the same when it comes to Android.
Demographics and Behavior of iPhone vs. Android Users
The facts and figures we’ve discussed about iOS vs. Android users are helpful. While demographic statistics will favor one option over another, it is crucial to remember that this type of demographic data is fluid, differs by country, evolves over time, and is influenced by several factors that we cannot even begin to assess.
In light of this, the following demographic information and trends are drawn from various research and sources, including Sensor Tower, Mercator Advisory Group, Counterpoint Research, Slickdeals, Statista, and Airship.
The following are the key conclusions for the mobile operating system market from these most current demographic studies:
- Spending on clothing, beauty items, and technology is generally higher among iPhone owners.
- Android users typically earn less than iPhone users.
- In the USA, those between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely to own an iPhone than an Android device.
- The premium smartphone industry is dominated by Apple (iOS has 78% of the market share for smartphones priced at or above $1000 and 57% of the market share for smartphones priced at or above $400).
- Even though security experts are divided on which platform is safer, Apple users report feeling more secure than Android users.
- Compared to Android users, iPhone users spend more money on purchases and app subscriptions.
The mobile operating system industry is intriguing since a disproportionately greater number of people worldwide favor one alternative over the other. However, the alternative generates substantially more income for companies and developers.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Platform
When assessing differences in iPhone users and Android users, some aspects can’t be overlooked. These facts show how the variances between iOS and Android customers might impact a company’s overall digital strategy. Therefore, selecting a platform for a mobile application is a choice that should be carefully thought out. Businesses that want to be present on both platforms frequently choose to debut on one first, learn from the experience, and enhance the product before moving on to the other.
Thus, here are some of the most crucial factors to take into account when determining whether to design an app for Android, iOS, or both to aid in making these decisions:
· Target Market and Demography
Developing the app first for Android is probably the best course of action if it is meant for users outside of the United States and other high-income economies where the iPhone dominates the market (such as the UK, Canada, and Japan). However, going with iOS is the better choice if the software is primarily targeted at markets where the iPhone is more prevalent than Android devices. It has become crucial for businesses to dig deeper into client segments and further explore this inside each market.
· Consumer Hardware Options
This chunk is limited when determining iPhone vs. Android users because iOS can only be used on expensive Apple devices. On the other hand, a wide variety of consumer electronics companies (such as Samsung, Motorola, Google, LG, and ASUS) employ Android as their own proprietary mobile operating system. Both affordable Android cellphones that start at $150 and more expensive Android models are available.
· Considerations For Developing Apps Based on Technology and Duration
Technology managers are fully aware of the numerous factors of the development stage. The technology options definitely differ, especially when assessing the ramifications of choosing between (or both) Android and iOS. Businesses need to be skilled in Java, C++, C, and Kotlin for Android app development, whereas iOS developers utilize Objective-C or Swift. Although market prices vary, iOS developers (at least in the US) often earn a little higher salary than those for Android. Of course, hiring a mobile app development consultant can be very advantageous for businesses.
The requirements will ultimately determine the project’s duration. There is little difference in project timelines between iOS and Android projects. Businesses should also consider cross-platform strategies as they have been shown to reduce app development costs, expedite delivery, and streamline development in general. Cross-platform technologies, like Kotlin Multiplatform, make it simpler to extend to other platforms while continuing to improve the original app, even if a company already has an app on one platform (like Android).
|Developer||Apple||Open Handset Alliance and Google|
|Hardware options||Apple (not available for other smartphone brands)||Samsung, Google, Motorola, LG, and ASUS, among others|
|Programming language||Swift & Objective C||Java or Kotlin|
|Source model||Proprietary (with some open-source elements)||Open source|
|Language support||40 languages||100+ languages|
|Marketplace for mobile apps||Apple App Store (no other app marketplaces allowed)||Google Play Store (plus other less popular marketplaces such as Aptoide and Galaxy Apps)|
|Global market share (percentage of users)||28%||70%|
|Number of apps||1.6 million||3.55 million|
|Global revenue of apps||$85.1 billion||$47.9 billion|
|Age group||Preferred by younger users (18-34 years old)||Preferred by older users|
|Economic profile||Higher income on average||Lower income on average|
|Customer loyalty||High and steady (but slightly lower than Android)||High and steady (with a slight edge over iOS)|
|In-app spending||More spent in mobile apps||Less spent in mobile apps|
|User response to push notifications||Less responsive with a reaction rate of 3.4% and opt-in rate of 51%||More responsive with a reaction rate of 4.6% and opt-in rate of 81%|
|User perception of security||Perceived as more secure||Perceived as less secure|
|Compensation for developers (limited to US)||iOS developers are paid slightly more||Android developers are paid slightly less|
The Comparison Chart
There are numerous methods to contrast iOS and Android. The table below compares the two platforms for product managers and executives tasked with collaborating with technical teams.
As mentioned before, many factors need to be considered when creating a mobile app. The technological options, financial ramifications, and project execution can distract executives and project managers. Understanding the variations between iPhone user or Android user within their target markets and designing products for them appropriately can provide firms an edge over their rivals.
Being visible on just one platform is something to think about when resources are limited, or the company is still exploring a product idea. Businesses must take the time to learn about their users to implement or decide between iOS and Android.
However, due to cross-platform technology, businesses can reduce the time, money, and risks associated with having a presence on both iOS and Android (as well as desktop and online apps). While choosing between iOS app development and Android is crucial, doing so also frees up businesses and organizations to concentrate on enhancing product features, attracting customers, and expanding their operations.
Around the globe, pragmatism is far more valued than style and trends. When choosing a phone, people in poverty probably don’t consider the brand or the features. The phone can fulfill its role if it can make calls and occasionally access the internet. Apple would challenge Google for market share if it were to introduce an iPhone that could compete with Android in the low-end market. Android will continue to rule the global phone market for years because of its low prices and compatible feature.
Furthermore, if you are considering companies for a mobile application development service, you can count on Codment. The company has professionals with years of experience that has provided premium digital services and have distinguished themselves as the leading IT pioneers. So, contact us now to get the best digital solutions.