Let me outline a few of the differences between the Android smartphone and tablet platform vs. Apple’s iPhone and iPad with iOS platform.
In terms of the number of apps for smart phones, both are about the same, though Android apps lag far behind in diversity, quality, and usability (iOS apps get used more because iOS devices are used more).
In terms of device quality, a recent study indicates that Apple’s devices are more reliable than Samsung’s Android devices. This isn’t a surprise.
In terms of the latest and greatest features, I’ll concede that Android sometimes leapfrogs Apple’s iOS, but that’s often on a per-device basis, and most of those differentiated features are not available to the great unwashed masses of Android device customers.
Web advertiser Chitika’s latest study points out the drastic difference in iOS adoption of the latest version.
Within five days after release, iOS version 6.1.2 garnered almost 35-percent of iOS web traffic in the U.S. All flavors of iOS 6.x account for about 85-percent of all iOS usage.
What does that mean? When Apple updates iOS, a much larger percentage of the installed base of devices upgrade within days or weeks than any Android OS update. Christian Zibreg in iDownloadBlog points out the disparity this way– the latest versions of iOS are adopted by users over six times that of Android OS device users.
Why the disparity? It’s part of the fragmentation of the entire Android platform. Many cell phone carriers don’t really care if their Android customers upgrade to the latest version, while iOS device owners treat updates as a matter of course. It’s easier to update the iPhone and iPad masses than it is Android users.
After all, iOS 6.x still runs on a four year old iPhone 3GS. That upgradability creates a better user experience, gets new features into the hands of a larger percentage of the iOS user base, extends the lifecycle of the iOS device, and gives Android OS users another reason to swoon with envy at how well Apple treats their customers.