Android v. iOS Part 4: Developers


We’ve learned that Android dominates market share, but that it doesn’t seem to matter much. iOS has most of the profit share. And it turns out that developer share, not market share, is what makes a platform strong.


— Developers develop for iOS first. (Source and Source)

— There are seven iOS apps for every three Android apps. (Source)

— AppStoreHQ estimates there are over 43 thousand Apple iOS developers and 10 thousand Android developers. (Source)

— iOS has far greater developer mindshare: 89 per cent iPhone, iPad at 88 per cent, Android phones 78.6 per cent, Android tablets 65.9 per cent (Appcelerator). (Source)

— Android developer interest may be dwindling rather than growing. (Source)


Why does the iOS platform attract more developers than the Android platform? After looking at all of the evidence (below), the better question might be: “Why do developers develop for Android at all?” Android may have most of the market share, but that market share hasn’t translated into dollars for developers. The iOS platform is so far superior to the Android platform that it isn’t even close.

I can’t say it plainer than this. The reason Android’s massive market share numbers have not translated into mobile operating system domination is because Android is a terribly weak platform.


— 5.5 billion paid to iOS developers. (Source: Apple Q2 2012 earnings call.) Android? Not even a quarter as much. (Source)

— Asymco estimates that Android developers made $210M in all of 2011, compared to the $700M pocketed by Apple iOS developers in the Q4 2011. (Source)

— “Distimo, a mobile consulting firm, estimates that the Apple App store generates $5.4M/day for the 200 top-grossing apps while Google generates just $679K for their top-200 grossing apps. That is almost a 8:1 revenue ratio.” (Source)

— iOS overall developer revenue is six times greater than Android developer revenue (Distimo) (Source)

— More of Apple’s apps generate revenue, while most of Google apps are free: 67% of apps on Apple are paid for versus 34% on Google. (Source)

— For the very same app, Flurry Analytics estimates that a developer will earn $1.00 on the Apple iOS version compared to $0.24 for the Google Android version. (Source)


— iOS has 30 billion downloads. (Source)

— iOS users vastly outspend Android users on apps, respond much better to adds. (Source)

— The Apple user demographic is more affluent, an earlier adopter and more loyal than other brands. (Source)


— iOS App retention crushing Android. (Source)

— iOS dominates mobile ad impressions. (Source)

— Apple iPhone gamers spend five times more than Android gamers. (Source) 84 per cent of mobile gaming revenue captured by iOS (NewZoo) (Source)

— Apple’s iOS takes 65% mobile browser share, Android at 20%. (Source)

— 90 per cent of e-commerce revenue comes from iOS devices (Rich Relevance). (Source)

— Android in enterprises ‘severely limited’ by weak management support from Google. (Source)

— iOS has six of top 10 enterprise mobile devices (Source)

— Android is failing to get into businesses as iPhone and iPad do. (Source)

— Apple nabs 70 percent of global tablet market. Android? Not so much. (Source)

— Apple iPad Accounts for 94.64% of all Tablet Web Traffic. (Source)

— 97.3 per cent of business tablet activations are iPad (Good Technologies) (Source)


Wow, ‘Nuff said? Apple has a strong platform. Android has a weak platform. And I haven’t even touched on the inherent weaknesses in Android’s platform yet. It’s not even debatable (although I’m sure that I’ll get some debates on it anyhow.)

Tomorrow we look at whether Android can fix its platform or whether its problems are inherent and intractable.

Coming Tomorrow: Android v. iOS Part 5: Android Is A Two-Legged Stool

Android v. iOS Part 1: Market Share
Android v. iOS Part 2: Profits
Android v. iOS Part 3: Network Effect

Published by

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?

122 thoughts on “Android v. iOS Part 4: Developers”

  1. In response to an earlier article, I received this complaint:

    “Apples to apples means you need to consider EVERYTHING running the OS. You neglect to mention the cameras, refrigerators, coffee makers, NASA satellite controllers, etc. that are now running off Android (which is really nothing more than a Linux distribution for those of you who actually know what a kernel is). Come on man leave the stat skewing to the politicians.” – Whitaker

    Here the thing – none of that matters.

    – It doesn’t help Google because Google can’t advertise on or sell content to a camera, refrigerator, coffee maker, NASA satellite controller, etc.

    – It doesn’t help developers because they can’t sell apps to any of those devices either.

    – Android on miscellaneous devices may make the manufacturer money by saving them costs, but it does nothing – absolutely zero – to get developers paid and to strengthen the platform.

    1. Sorry it DOES matter. Android is not only dominating the market share in smartphones but it is able to easily cross into other electric appliances as mentioned above. It does matter because when Android phones can integrate with to all these devices running Android there will be very little desire for a standalone Apple that can only talk to itself. Sure Google won’t be able to make money off devices with no screens, but it will dominate anything that has a screen to deliver their ads.

      1. “when Android phones can integrate with to all these devices running Android there will be very little desire for a standalone Apple that can only talk to itself…”

        You mean that Android will be able to communicate with the Nexus Q while iOS will only be able to communicate with televisions, speakers, radios and such via AirPlay?

        I’m not following you. Can you elaborate or give me some examples of where this is or is about to happen?

        1. The past month we are seeing the first batch of cameras on Android released. You can imagine now professional grade images being shared on social sites more now than the phone captured ones.

          This is just the beginning, but this can easily spread to other appliances where I can choose to buy from a wide range of brands. In your example I probably have to buy everything Apple. Apple simply is unable to compete in all the markets that Android is able to enter.

          1. Why does Facebook, to pick a service, care whether the camera from which I share my picture, is running Android or iOS or some other embedded OS? One weakness of Android is that Google has failed to build much of an ecosystem around it. iCloud is far from perfect, but it is much better thought out than the assortment of disparate Google services.

          2. You’re right, facebook doesn’t care. My point is that a well established camera maker like Canon or Nikon can make an Android based camera while this is outside of iOS’s grasp. So if I’m a serious photographer wouldn’t that influence my smartphone purchase? Now lets extend that thought to home appliances, auto systems, list goes on and on.

            iCloud is much better thought out than Google’s services (gmail, maps, drive, youtube, search, etc) that is woven into the fabric of our lives? Oh my, that is QUITE A STATEMENT.

          3. Google services are definitely far more extensive. What they aren’t is very well integrated.

            I’m having trouble seeing what Google has to gain from having Android become a general embedded OS in, say, appliances. Of course, the open source nature of Android means Google can;t stop anyone from using it that way. Still, I’m not sure why a designer who didn’t need the mobility and UI features that Android provides would prick it rather than a lightweight Linux distro like BusyBox or an embedded OS like QNX.

          4. “I’m having trouble seeing what Google has to gain from having Android become a general embedded OS in, say, appliances.”-Steve


          5. Well, if your appliances can integrate with your phone, would you still get an iPhone that can’t talk to them?

          6. Thats quite a claim you got there that Google’s cloud based services aren’t that well integrated. Google is the king of cloud based services not many would challenge that.

          7. “Android based camera while this is outside of iOS’s grasp. So if I’m a serious photographer wouldn’t that influence my smartphone purchase?” – act123

            I think it’s much more likely that the purchase of an iPod, iPod Touch, iPad or Mac would influence one’s next computing purchase. Apple has devices in all of those categories while Android only has only a token presence only in tablets.

            And half of all U.S. homes have at least one Apple device.

          8. No, first of all. Apple does not make cameras and even if they made one no serious photographer would buy it. So since my iPhone can’t talk to it I would lean to buying an Android device that is integrated with it. Its too bad iOS can’t easily enter other markets like Android can.

            Android had a token presence in tablets a year after it entered the smartphone market too and now it took it over. The result of the tablet market won’t be any different. iPads are losing market share quarter by quarter too it pretty clear where that is heading.

          9. iCloud is certainly well thought out .. to restrict and limited your options and to make it so dummy proof that you can’t even make the selections and settings that you should have been allowed to make.

          10. Those cameras are neat ideas in a dying category—smartphones are killing point-n-shooters on the low end, while they absolutely DO NOT offer the “professional” quality you claim. Worth a try, I guess, but also worth guessing that the higher price for a decent Android-capable CPU, GPU, memory, etc, not to mention development costs of the camera software, plus support costs for 3rd party software, are going to raise my costs to make even fewer people buy.

            A long shot, to be sure. But if you can tell me that a person is going to take a camera but NOT a smartphone when he goes out, or otherwise somehow want to use a smaller screen when a better, bigger one is right there, go ahead. I’ll concede that a user might want photo-editing software that the camera manufacturer doesn’t bundle, so there’s some developer potential in that very narrow niche.

            But other than that, the fact that Android can easily be adapted to refrigerators, cameras, auto entertainment systems, and so on means very nearly nothing for developers because users don’t want to play a game on their refrigerator, or pay for a data plan that allows widespread use on their camera.

          11. I think you are referring to point and click cameras where I’m talking about professional grade DLRs, which its quite a market. Many people are not satisfied with what phone cameras can offer. Otherwise companies like Nikon and Canon would have disappeared long ago. Lets not pretend there are no avid photographers around shall we?

            You don’t need a data plan on a Android enabled camera if you can tether it to your Android phone. Surely you have heard of wifi? See? the possibilities are endless if one can imagine outside of Apple’s little world.

          12. Professional photographers have been using Wi-Fi-equipped DSLRs for years (see, for example, the Nikon WT-2 accessory.) But they don;t need Android and don’t care about integration with social networks because they want to sell their pictures, not share them.

          13. Are all the moderators here fanboys? How about letting the market decide rather than allowing yourself to speak for all photographers in the industry about what they do and don’t care about? Just because Apple may speak for you and your desires doesn’t mean you can speak for us and ours!

          14. “How about letting the market decide …” – unbelievable

            The market is, of course, the final arbiter. But the question is, how is an Android appliance going to strengthen the Android platform? It does nothing for Google. It does nothing for developers. It may help manufacturers save costs on software. There’s no logical reason to believe that the proliferation of Android devices to camera, refrigerators, etc will help the platform.

          15. I think your comments have always been shortsighted. Anyone can see that if one platform integrates across a range of appliances it will have an effect between the shared platforms. Lets say my DSLR and my home appliances are integrated with my Android phone. Why would anyone buy an iPhone that can only talk to a limited number of devices.

            Logically speaking, if everything else I have is integrated with Android and even if Google don’t make money on an Android camera, it would have an indirect effect which would make my smartphone making decision much much easier. I really hope you’re getting this logic.

        2. My phone can already integrate wirelessly with every screen (and by default central stereo system) in my house, no extrenal hardware or paid subscriptions needed. It’s the 21st century, wifi protocols are kind of cool.

          When I’m in the car, everything else I own can wirelessly tether to my phone the for free LTE internet. The best part, my phone can sense when this is desired without any inputs from me and do it all itself (GPS and inertial sensors are pretty nifty too when you can tap into the OS)!

          This is not new. Where have you been for the last 2 years???

          1. “My phone can already integrate wirelessly with…” – Whitaker

            This has to do with standards like blue-tooth, etc. It has nothing to do with the Android platform and developers, which is the focus of this discussion.

          2. False, it has to do with being open source and thus giving anyone with a little head knowledge ability to tap into full OS potential (and yes by using other technology). You can’t tap into iPhone OS with custom ROMS like that.

          3. So you aren’t talking about core applications that the majority of people download from the App Market, but they need to install a custom ROM?

            Take away the tech geeks like us, but what percentage of the population that buys smart phones so this?

            I would reason that percentage of overall users is pretty damn small.

          4. Be nice if you listed your exact hardware so we can see that this is true and doesn’t use standards that iPhones could also use.

            From the sounds of your phone sounds like it goes to work for you too, is that true?

    2. What on earth are you saying. If there are more devices, the reach of the platform will be greater and there will be more potential customer and thus more people who will buy the apps. Simple as that.

  2. Thank you for the response Kirk, and while I disagree with your premise I do agree from the income point Apple is winning. The point here is not to make money, however, but to grab market — Android like most other Linux distros is free to install. Similar to Windows of the 80s and 90s trying to get on every device possible vs. Mac attempting to stop their use on non-approved hardware (it’s still pretty easy so long as you don’t BIOS RAID0 array on MBR partition table). Who won that one? Is this not extremely similar?

    As far as iOS users paying more for apps, could that be that the average Apple user is less intelligent (with regards to technology), such that they are willing to pay more than they should for something they shouldn’t have to in the first place? Working in the extreme hi tech industry, amongst people who really understand core OS technology and its relation to hardware controllers, having an iPhone gets you laughed at. At the average high school or hair salon, however, they are crushing the market. Think about it.

    Apple absolutely excels at selling “cool”, even if it only comes with a 0.8GHz dual core processor while its competition runs off 1.6GHz quad core. And wow, the difference that makes to those who understand and appreciate it.

    Eventually people are bound to figure it out, as I have more faith in the human race than to be enslaved by an inferior product with bang up marketing. The time will come for walled gardens to be freed.

    1. I agreed Apple was cool when it was the best smartphone around. But since Q1 2012 it no longer is. Its hard to be “cool”, when you are not delivering cream of the crop technology. It takes a quarter or two for consumers to adjust. But believe me, the “cool” factor is wearing off fast when Apple users look enviously at a Galaxy S3.

      1. I think that Apple would rather have the highest satisfaction ratings and the highest margins and the highest profits in the industry that have the highest “cool” factor.

        1. I can believe you’re correct if we are talking pre Q1 2012. But the competition has past Apple and leaving it in the dust. A crumbling market share yet still claim high satisfactory ratings? Hmmm something isn’t right.

          1. I’ve yet to see you back up your comment of crumbling market share with actual market data. As I said earlier, we are clearly looking at different market data. Globally iOS has gained more than 10% over the past 18 month’s. Factually it is outpacing Android’s global growth.

          2. “A crumbling market share yet still claim high satisfactory ratings? Hmmm something isn’t right.”

            Firstly the market share isn’t crumbling, just there are a lot of Android phones that have moved in to fill the gap left by Symbian and RIM. Apple is selling more handsets year on year and the people that have them are highly satisfied.

            The thing that isn’t right is your inability to look at the data properly.

          3. and 80% share in China. 68% globally units sales for Android.

            Anyway, its so close to the Mac Windows war its not even funny. Apple has about 20% market now. Macs had about less than 10% market back in the day. Just another few quarters and iPhones will be down to that range and we can put the nail of its iCoffin.

            The Nile (denial) is not just a river in Egypt. 🙂

        2. That’s a rather immoral statement. You have to look at how Apple makes such high profits and WHY they have high “satisfaction ratings”. Because Apple controls everything that happens to the iPhone, they cut out or screw the middle man/ third party sources like the hardware manufacturers, retailers, and phone companies. In addition, Apple makes a ton of money on their PATENT LICENSING. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s all Apple is doing nowdays… buy out something, patent it, and stick a high licensing fee.

          As for the high stats in their “App Store”, this is because Apple practices a legal form of price fixing. By controlling each and every app that enters the app store, they discourage free apps and make sure that every useful app costs something or at least contains heavy advertisement. Because Apple takes a hefty fee from App transactions, they get a good profit from that too. The reason you don’t hear app developers complaining about it is because they already charge a lot for the apps to begin with.
          Android, on the other hand, is completely open source which means people are free to make the same apps that you pay 2 bucks on the app store for FREE. A lot of people will make apps for fun or for educational purposes and then put them on the Play Store for free. This creates a market where it’s hard to make money because the only way to compete with free apps is to make yours better and worth the extra 99 cents. Also, these “stats” that this article quotes aren’t accurate at all and are just another example of the trickery that’s plagued any news regarding Android and iOS. These results only show app purchase money, NOT advertisement money and they also don’t take into account the other THIRD PARTY app stores like Amazon, etc. Unlike iOS, Android is not confined only to what Google deems okay.

          As for Apple’s Satisfaction ratings… it’s all about advertisement and the PR department. Apple has THE BEST strategy for promoting their products. In addition to that, the phones themselves are nice phones, they appear to be high quality, they have flashy effects and appear smooth. When the phone crashes or messes up, you don’t see it. The operating system covers it up by not showing the error messages that you’d usually expect. This good APPEARANCE is what has people blindly falling in love with Apple. The problem? It’s not going to last. Because the operating system itself is so tightly knit and closed, adding new core features is much more difficult than on an open source platform. This is what’s making the iphone old and boring. People are looking more and more to Android because it offers something new and exciting. With Apple, they HAVE to develop and use iPhone-only hardware that is design ONLY by Apple.

          As you can tell, I favor Android because I believe that while, yes the iOS is where the money is at NOW, the type of system Apple is running won’t work forever and eventually, people will understand that free can in fact be better.

          1. Do you have any data to support your statement: “Apple makes a ton of money on their PATENT LICENSING. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s all Apple is doing nowdays… buy out something, patent it, and stick a high licensing fee.” My understanding is that Apple is not a significant licensor of patented technology, especially compared to, say, Microsoft or IBM. Apple dopes not break out licensing revenue in its annual report; it’s not even clear that its net licensing revenue is positive, since it pays out a lot of money to license other companies’ patents.

            Apple’s total revenues (not profits) from the iTunes Store and the iOS and Mac App Stores was $6.3 billion last year, about 5% of total revenues. This business is probably not much better than a breakeven deal for Apple. anyone who have ever sold a product will tell you that any deal that delivers 70% of the retail purchase price is a really, really good deal.

            Also, your statement that “Android, on the other hand, is completely open source which means people are free to make the same apps that you pay 2 bucks on the app store for FREE,” is simply untrue. Android is distributed under an Apache license and developers are under no open-source obligation. Unless a developer has chosen a “copyleft” approach, you are no more free to copy an Android app than an iOS app.

    2. “The point here is not to make money, however, but to grab market”- Whitaker

      That’s actually not the point, Whitaker. That’s exactly opposite of the point. The point is to make money. Market share without profit is useless. Market share which doesn’t enhance the Network Effect is useless. Market share which doesn’t get Developers paid is useless. Market share is the means, profit is the ends.

      1. Ahhh, but therein lies the problem in your analysis. I understand a lawyer’s mind thinks of the here and now, but you have to be a bigger thinker than that to thrive in business. Long term investments are at stake, would you rather have $100 today or $1000 dollars in a year? If you can afford to take over the market while making next to nothing, but enough to get by, is that investment not worth it once you own the market?

        It’s a model which may be more challenging to grasp, but underselling has worked very well as a long term strategy for many giants in the world (heard of Wal Mart?). Little now, lots tomorrow, because once you muscle everyone else you own everything. The trick is looking past the numbers of today towards the end goal of tomorrow, and it works.

        1. Is it a wonder why Android supporters always think and argue in the future tense. It is rare for such predictions to bear fruit.

          1. Sure, Android is going to fall like Symbian. I wouldn’t bet my money on that.

            More likely, have you ever heard of Mac vs. Windows? Same company in the 80s that died (Apple), and using the same closed platform strategy that led its doom again in 2012…

            It comical thing is, the same company didn’t learn the first time.

        2. “If you can afford to take over the market while making next to nothing, but enough to get by, is that investment not worth it once you own the market?”

          Hahahaha! Great one!

          Please note that it’s not illegal to offer free apps on iOS; almost all of mine are. Some developers are indeed happy to give me their work on the hope that I’ll generate some ad revenue for them, or maybe in a year or two I’ll upgrade to a premium or pro version. The statistics are not very good on either platform for that model; the huge majority of apps don’t pay back minimum wage for the developer. What these stats are saying, however, is that despite numerical superiority, relatively fewer apps have managed to turn that corner on Android.

          You are countering facts about revenues on both platforms with wishfulness for Android. Nothing wrong with being an Android advocate; many people like ’em and Google certainly gets a lot of revenue from not sharing the ad revenues like they do with iPhones. But don’t pretend that it’s a better deal for developers because somehow the fact that Android users pay less for apps magically means Android apps make more money for devs.

          1. Walt,
            I don’t think he is referring to developers getting the better deal by developing Android it today, I think he’s referring to the ecosystem as a whole squeezing out the market share to strangle competition. If a stranglehold is developed, none of what you are saying will matter.

        3. “The trick is looking past the numbers of today towards the end goal of tomorrow, and it works.”-Whitaker

          This series is all about looking at the future of Android and iOS. Where is this magical future you speak of? Short term loss for long term gain is great, but there’s got to be a reason why today’s losses are going to turn into tomorrow’s gains and there isn’t one.

          Android has the market share. But Android has a weak platform that does not reward developers. And developers give a platform it’s value. How exactly is that a long-term plan? What it is is lose now, lose then plan.

          1. I will respond here to both the articles you just linked.

            First Q2 and 3 are tough quarters for the Apple camp because Apple has to a degree conditioned the market for late year upgrade cycles. I am watching the data closely as we are seeing in developed markets a more serious spike of upgrades at the end of the year. So I can almost but guarantee you that after the holiday quarter the stats you just showed will be reversed and you will see more iPhones sold than Android phones. But the point remains that this will shift on a quarter by quarter basis. The link you posted above is only telling the story of the previous quarter not the year sales at large. So the short answer to why iPhone slumped last quarter was due to anticipation for the 5 and the vast majority not being eligible for upgrade. This next fall quarter will tell the true story of what device consumers are choosing at large due to the dynamics I just described.

            The data for Apple is this. It has gained over 10 points of worldwide market share over the past two years as well as 2 points market share per quarter consistently. The global growth of the iPhone market share has outpaced the growth of Android in terms of share growth over a time period. And in the US Android actually declined consistently for three straight quarters up until the last one.

            No one here is saying Android is a bad platform. I use a Galaxy Nexus running Jelly Bean as my every day smart phone. What we need to be careful of is to not understand the role each platform plays in the innovation cycle. I do not believe there will be one platform to rule them all just like there is not one car brand to rule them all.

            Consumers make very specific and precise decisions and we can’t assume that just because we love something that everyone does as well. Especially when it comes to technology.

            I appreciate the zeal of both the Apple crows and the Android crowd (where are the MSFT zealots BTW? 🙂 ). But I do think everyone needs to calm down and have some perspective about this whole discussion and remember that less than half the globe has smart phones and this battle is far from over. Although I don’t believe it is a battle it is more like a market share grab and at some point the dust will settle and the story will shift to platform share maintenance and do some degree attempts to attract switchers.

            To your other point we are seeing the data of some folks going from iOS to Android particularly around the SIII but the post interview data I am seeing suggests they are early adopters and this switching is not happening with the early and late majority. Which are much bigger markets as a whole.

    3. “As far as iOS users paying more for apps, could that be that the average Apple user is less intelligent…” – Whitaker

      It’s very unwise to assume that something is stupid just because you don’t understand it.

      People pay more for something because they value what they can acquire more than they value the money they exchange to acquire it. Value (to the buyer, not you) is what drives prices up.

    4. So Whitaker, you’re saying that Apple iOS can do its work in half the GHz. Sounds inefficient and lacking in design.

      It isn’t a puzzle why a plenitude of Droids rest in the back of sock drawers.

      1. Android OS needs to be able to run on a wide range of hardware so its overhead is more. But that also allows every manufacturer to participate and dominate the market. Leaving Apple the crumbs.

        1. “Leaving Apple the crumbs.” – twisty

          Apple doesn’t have the crumbs, they have the coins. There is not one person in the whole world who would rather have market share than money. Not one. Why is this so hard for your to understand?

      2. Ignorance is bliss. I could underclock my Siii and still outbenchmark your iPhone, but why would I want to when I can outright destroy it with numbers?

        PS. Samsung makes the CPU chip for your coveted 4S, don’t you think they will make their own CPU chips just a little better?

        Think sometimes, it can do wonders 🙂

        1. Please understand the difference between fab-ing a semiconductor and designing a semiconductor. Samsung is simply the manufacturer not the designer. Apple designs the chips themselves in house and just has them printed by Samsung.

          Apple and Samsung are both architecture licensees of ARM and therefore have their own proprietary designs. They both make extremely good chips but so does Qualcomm and NVIDIA.

          The semiconductor point is moot because tuning the software uniquely to the software is something Apple is focused on. Due to the differences between semiconductor demands between Android and iOS – Samsung and Apple make very different tweaks to their architecture. My point being you can’t compare AND we are past the point of diminishing returns in CPU anyway.

        2. “Samsung makes the CPU chip for your coveted 4S, don’t you think they will make their own CPU chips just a little better?”

          Apple have the IP from 3 different ARM processor developers in house and do all the designs and just get Samsung to fabricate the chips to their design. Samsung own none of the IP in these chips just the plant that makes them.

    5. “As far as iOS users paying more for apps, could that be that the average Apple user is less intelligent (with regards to technology), such that they are willing to pay more than they should for something they shouldn’t have to in the first place?”

      Good grief, there are some apps such as my Chinese-English dictionary that is offered for the same price (modular but maybe $50+) on both platforms that is a steal if you give a damn about studying Chinese. If people spend more on iOS because of that, then higher revenues on iOS is a sign of intelligence.

      But most apps are $1–$5 things; I’d claim it’s a —>Low IQ<— activity to prioritize you platform for the possibility that you can chase down cheaper apps, many of which steal your valuable time with intrusive ads that have to be downloaded, in order to maybe save $10 against a $1000/year contract.

      1. Sucks not being able to get Firefox or Chrome (the real one, with V8 javascript engine) doesn’t it? Guess you need to switch platforms to get anything but embarrasingly last place in benchmarks Safari!

        1. You tell Apple fanboys these features Android users have been able to enjoy and their answer is always the same, “oh i don’t need that, what am i going to use that for?”

          1. “You tell Apple fanboys…” – act123

            Please stop the name calling.

            What iOS users would probably point out to you is that their devices have satisfaction ratings in the high nineties while Android units hoover in the fifties.

          2. Its sad isn’t it. You can’t even reply on the topic. Just dropped a laundry list of Android features enjoyed by its users. Nice to change the topic.

            Look how old and behind in features the iphone is, even you must admit that.

      2. Voice by voice to the tune of Google Navigation? Google Drive? Sky Maps? Free wi-fi broadcast tethering? LTE for crying out loud?? Sucks for you. Try using voice recognition side by side, you’ll be surprised how bad Siri is at butchering your words.

        1. “Voice by voice to the tune of Google Navigation? Google Drive? Sky Maps? Free wi-fi broadcast tethering? LTE for crying out loud?” – John

          Android has fine hardware is a fine operating system, but this is a discussion regarding developers and third-party apps. Every single thing you mentioned is part of the Android operating system. It has nothing to do with third party apps.

          For the sake of argument, let’s just assume that Android has superior hardware and a operating system. How do you explain Android’s inability to court developers? It appears clear to me that the platform does not reward developers. What is your take?

    6. Considering the patent licensing issues, Android is becoming a very odd kind of free. Major Android phone makers are already paying Microsoft and probably will soon be paying Apple for the use of their patents. The only loser is Google.

      Second, 99.9% of phone buyers don’t care whether you can root the phone or what the processor speed is. They care about the user experience. And I have yet to hear anyone complain about iPhone or iPad performance on a current model. Apple can get by with lesser specs because vertical integration allows them to fine tune the OS for performance on a known hardware configuration., That’s a huge advantage.

      People who don’t understand the depth of Apple technology and think the company survives just on marketing (which, admittedly, they are very good at) are fooling themselves.

    7. Of course, *permanent* (insofar as anything in this fast-moving space can be permanent) market share is what’s needed, as the smartphone market in the developed world approaches saturation. The problem for Android is that people who buy Android as their first smartphone are much more likely to buy iOS for their second, than people buying iOS and then switching to Android. Over time, this will mean that Android’s share will decline, unless they reverse this.

      1. I personally know many who have switched from iOS to Android, and 0 the other way around. Perhaps this does not speak for the norm, however I bet you would be surprised at how many ditched their 4s for new toys like the Siii.

        1. “I personally know many who have switched from iOS to Android…” – John

          Anecdotal evidence is dangerous John since it is incomplete and tends only to support our pre-existing biases. Keep following the series. I’ll have more to say on satisfaction and retention in the near future.

    8. The so called people who know core OS technology laugh at iPhones, then frankly they are idiots and don’t sound much different than other fan boys.

      The fact is an iPhone, is just a tool and a tool that can fill a need for many people.
      To somehow discount it because some other phone now has X more MHz or has Y many more megapixels just shows they just as pathetic as most people have become in this iOS vs Android “argument”.

  3. Short, Poignant, profound, non-partisan.

    Falkirk, you forgot, Apple / iOS has the better and most informed analytical discussions of the two platforms.

    1. From the article, right up top: “There are seven iOS apps for every three Android apps.”

      “Only a fanboy would tout having more paid pretend that Android has more apps, let alone more good ones or worthy free ones.”

      FTFY! You’re welcome!

      1. Listening to Apple fanboys just makes me laugh. You let them chain you to overpriced hardware and incompatible software without even knowing it.

        Ignorance is bliss right?

        BTW. The apps you pay for we get for free 🙂

        1. You think that’s a strength, but it’s crippling the platform because developers can’t get paid. Read all about it in tomorrow’s article.

          1. Then why has Google’s Play store rapidly caught up to Apple’s store in number of apps? Each at around 650K apps. Seems like quite a momentum of development in Android apps to me.

          2. Because Google dos not review or curate app uploads but accepts any junk, 45% of apps in the Google Play Store are spam apps, test apps, or downright garbage. Then of course there is all the malware which keeps sneaking in even despite the attempted automatic AV Google implemented a while back.

            14,900 malware apps and malicious exploits targeting Android released last quarter alone according to Kaspersky and zero for iOS.

            That’s definitely not the sort of momentum you want to boasting about.

          3. It may work if Google can workout what kind of apps pay on Android and then enhances the concerned engines at a small premium. That way developers can offer a demo with an option to purchase full version.

            Unfortunately for Android and its position – its carrying the weight of the world – including many poor people who are only realizing the technology.

            Whilst in developing countries many are at liberty to have access to many paid apps – in continents like Asia and Africa – its down an app a month depending on exchange rate.

        2. A real conversation…

          1- “Download WhatApp!”
          2- “Oh I’m not paying a dollar for it, don’t want to give Apple my credit card”
          1- “But Whatapp is free on Android”
          2- “Oh”

          1. “A real conversation…” – act123

            Anecdotal evidence. I’ve heard Android users say that they’ll never pay for an app. That ain’t good for the platform.

            iOS has lots of free apps, act123. 33% of 600,000 apps is 200,00 free apps.

          2. “That ain’t good for the platform”

            The Android platform at nearly 70% last quarter crushed iOS. Users are buying Android devices at this rate and you are claiming its not good for the platform? Sure its not good for you as a developer but as phone customers we are thrilled. Android users has never complained of a lack of apps. There is PLENTY of development effort in Android.

            So if you don’t like the Android app system works you can continue to develop for iPhone with less than 20% market share. Meanwhile the masses will continue using the more advanced Android devices with no shortage of apps.

      2. I admit I am an Android fan. But does Apple have more free apps than Android? I always heard they don’t. That is the only point I was making…that since I’m not a developer, that is what matters to me. Yes, I’ve purchased a lot of apps on the Play Store too.
        A customer called in the other day and wanted to get a free app on the Apple app store and he was having trouble making an Apple ID because it required a credit card. I thought that was super greedy of Apple.

        1. You shouldn’t be trusting people who are so in love with their stuff that they’ll tell you lies. And if/since you value your reputation (using your own name & all), why pass on such dishonesty as your own?

          There are indeed some developers who PREFER free apps on Android to paid apps there. At least one very famous dev has said it’s because that gives them the best monetization on Android — often, hassles with paid apps are so bad that it’s not worth trying to charge. At least with ads they get something other than chargeback hassles and support complaints.

          I’m not an app developer either, tho I have a couple of acquaintances who are. I suspect it’s true that Google’s ads generate more revenue than what you can do on iOS, so a professional dev is more likely to charge a buck for an app on iOS. To me as a user, that $1 is irrelevant, especially since I know it’ll work well on MY phone. But of my ~180 free apps on my phone, only one or two games work less than very well, so it’s all kinda moot: there is a HUGE number of fine, free apps on Apple. All the ones I’ve tried work well.

          BTW, yes, Apple DOES require a credit card to set up an Apple ID, and yes, you DO need one to download even one single free app. That means your “customer” who asked how to get around it never got set up with Apple; it means he didn’t get set up with a phone number for his iPhone (since Sprint, Verizon & AT&T all require one for post-paid numbers that can access data); it means he doesn’t get the many services such as over-the-air notifications, backups, upgrades, etc that come with an AppleID; and it means he doesn’t have a credit-responsible adult in his life to guarantee that if he DOES buy a paid app, the developer will get paid. It means he is not getting all the things that most people buy an iPhone for. He should NOT have bought the thing, unless he paid well below a fair price for it.

          I can think of many reasons, some not illegal, why this person had an iPhone without having been told all that, but I *am* having trouble understanding why he thinks “no questions asked cash” is the way that 99% of America does business where buy-now, pay-later, rules.

          (I say that without impugning his integrity. One of my most-trusted workmates, responsible for multi-hundred-million-dollar decisions with our clients’ money, chooses not to have a credit card. He just doesn’t play dumb, asking some third party why he can’t get apps on his iPhone.)

    1. “Historical” fanboy. Thank you. I like that.

      “Study the past if you would define the future.” ― Confucius

      1. “His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985.”

        I don’t think it was meant as a compliment, I think it was meant to imply implicit bias in the author’s review! Those who have “love affairs” tend to miss points that are pretty obvious to others.

        1. This fact is also true with many techies who have love affairs with their Android products.

          Too many Android fans in this thread miss the fact that they may have the most superior device in their opinion for themselves. While others may come to the same conclusion about the iPhone.

          What works for you or is best for you may not be what works best or is best for me. This is joy of having a market with choice.

          If this market was 100% Android it would be absolutely horrible for competition and to be honest quite boring. The fact that Apple, Google, Microsoft will all push each other to be better is very good for all of us.

          And as I stated and this point is key. The fallacy is to assume what works for one consumer works for all. This market will remain fragmented and each platform will carve out its share and look to continue to solve problems for their customers.

          1. In some cases yes and in some cases no. The bottom line is many consumers want technology that simply works rather than to tinker and tweak with it. If you look at the law of diffusion of innovation and the biggest part of the market, you see fundamental aspects of the consumer mindset that is working for Apple customers.

          2. “The image I get of Apple in the future, is that of ‘Taco Bell’ in Demolition man.” – hickslv426

            Ha! Nice image.

            Respectfully though, if that’s the image you have of Apple, perhaps you should watch fewer movies and read more tech articles (like this one!).

        2. “I don’t think it was meant as a compliment.” – John

          I got that John, I’m guessing that you didn’t get my tonuge-in-cheek response.

    2. Always funny how Android fans attack the writer rather than the facts presented.

      So do any of you have any fact-based logical counter to the stats and references John has presented or are you just going to stick to throwing mud?

      1. You ask too much, M.

        Those without principles question not their biases. What I find most endearing of the Apple Crowd, most anyways, is that they often to see the benefits and strengths, and the weakness of both platforms and can be particularly critical of the products they enjoy. It is disheartening to find that it is rare to find anyone from the Samsung envy group ever make a critical point of their own preferred platform. However, it does happen and it is that fine group I respect.

        Though I like a good jostle I appreciate honesty and integrity from sites and commenters. What I don’t appreciate is theft and supporters of theft, and that makes it difficult to appreciate certain parties as much as I should like to.

    3. Please read out posting guidelines. Also fanboy is an extremely disrespectful term loaded with prejudice. Please use more intelligent conversation in this forum. We hold our content and our comments to a very high standard. Please abide or you will be blocked.

  4. Facts are facts. Its true that iOS makes more money and their ads are more effective at the moment. Helping Apple make loads of money.

    Its also true that Android seems unstoppable at the moment with the way it keeps gaining market share. In fact, with the way its going its might take a long time to see any other operating system as successful. You also can’t take away the fact that Google has also done a very good job in organizing open source community to produce the most popular mobile operating system.

    Google’s move into making phones – is Android just “killing the iPhone” too much. How long is the Galaxy line going to remain as the “top Android phone” with Motorola churning out Droids?. Have you ever seen many projects that Google takes on that fail?. Samsung also just lost a $1 billion to Apple.
    What’s bizarre, – is the fact that most android manufacturers are currently having to pay licencing fees to Microsoft, – making them more money, and thus keeping Windows phone 7 competitive.
    From a business point of view its disappointing that to manufacture an Android handset you first have to pay Microsoft, compete with Samsung and your apps don’t sell. From a consumers point of view Android is perfect. Loads of freebies.
    In the meantime, Apple keeps making money, Android keeps growing in penetration driven mostly by budget smartphones in developing countries where there is a need to compute in any form.
    What’s most bizarre is that a 4 year old iPhone 3GS is still selling for an average of $200.

    1. “Have you ever seen many projects that Google takes on that fail?”
      Well, I could mention Google TV, Google Buzz, Google Wave, Google OnePass, and a dozen or so others. Admittedly, Motorola is different: Google has $12.5 billion worth of skin in that game, so they can’t just walk away if it isn’t working in a year.

  5. What’s fun to do with this argument like this is to replace iOS with Windows and Android with Mac. Watch how the Apple fans go apoplectic.

    1. What’s fun to do with this argument like this is to replace iOS with Windows and Android with Mac.

      RedMercury, you’re making the wrong analogy. In fact, you have it exactly backwards. The Mac had poor market share but a great platform. The platform saved it during the lean years. While Windows killed every other computer platform, the Mac – which was born in 1984 – still survives and thrives. Experts have estimated that the Mac’s 5% market share garners as much as 35% of the sector’s profits. Now that the Mac is doing much better than 5%, who knows what that percentage is. It could be as high as 50%

      The argument I’m making is that Android has all the market share but they can’t win the platform wars because they have no platform. Android is the antithesis of the Mac. A platform that SHOULD be dominant, that should have all the profits but can’t be.

      Tune in for tomorrow’s article and I’ll tell you why.

  6. Today’s post, ‘Android v. iOS Part 4: Developers’, is a joke, right? How long has the Android operating system been out on the market compared to iOS? Talk about meaningless statistics!
    No serious tech analyst can possibly guess where either operating system will be 3-5 years from now. If you think you can then you need to remember back to when Excel did not exist – and where is Lotus 1-2-3 today? Or Visicalc?
    More recently, remember when Solaris was going to take over the world? Or the Oracle RDBMS? Or Blackberry? And wasn’t Java supposed to crush all competitors?
    The one thing we know for sure is that the statistics are likely to be very different in 6-12 months – and even more different in 18-24 months. I believe both operating systems will offer fabulous business opportunities in those timeframes, but beyond that time? None of us have a legitimate basis for claiming we know the answer.
    Long term success often has more to do with business prowess than superior technology. A good example of that is when Ericsson had the largest share of the cellphone market – and permanently lost it within a few months to Nokia because Ericsson ignored a small fire at a critical supplier. Another good example is Microsoft.

    1. I don’t recall anyone saying that java was going to crush all competitors. Java is, arguably, the best crossplatform dev environment today for server-side development.

      Android came out a mere year after iPhoneOS and has had remarkable growth. However, I would argue that certain characteristics of Android have been stable for years. One example would be its fragmentation.

      I mean, we now have 2007 to present to evaluate both. And we’ve also can see how predictions for both have worked out. Android still has fewer apps, still has paid out less money, and still is heavily fragmented. We can also see how individual predictions have worked out. Remember Eric Schmidt saying how we’ll see GoogleTV and developers targeting Android first this summer. How’d that work out?

      I remember reading back in 2010 how in 2011, Android would surpass iOS for total number of apps. Nope.

      By now, in 2012, Android tablets would surpass iOS tablets. Nope.

      You are right. We can’t predict the future, but we can analyze the past. Giving away free phones may get you marketshare, but that’s hollow when you can’t make money from it.

  7. Wow! Falkirk really struck a nerve here. It is telling that people who don’t like the article come right out of the shoot with insults. I also don’t see any sources to back up a lot of the against statements.

    “Any day now”
    “In the future!”

    It’s amazing really. Someone here is attacking the fact that iOS has more paid apps. One thing I’m fairly certain of. None of the people making that argument seem to actually work writing software. I suspect there are no hardware people here either.

    Something to consider. If the ad-basd model is so good, why don’t more people where sandwich boards instead of going to jobs.

  8. You make a good point based on historical data and a fairly accurate assessment of the current state of affairs. But it seems misguided not to consider what future trends will bring.

    1. “it seems misguided not to consider what future trends will bring.”-laserrat

      I’m planning on addressing that in the finale on Tuesday. What trends do you consider relevant?

  9. I think that you missed something that combines the market share and developers sections. You need to talk about market share of various OS versions. Apple tends to get a lot of users up to the latest OS version very quickly, allowing developers to create apps with the latest APIs. While Android’s latest version is at least as good as the latest version of iOS, there are very few users on it. That means that for developers to garner a wide audience, they need to target an older OS version, and that means lesser quality applications.

  10. Android is still the best because I never have to pay for a single app. I get everything I want for free, even though the quality isn’t good as Apple’s apps. It’s still free, and I save monny

  11. No profit on android platform. Only a vicious way to increase ad surface. Apps are not shown to the user, unless you put some ad. Developpers will leave the platform, because they just can’t make honest money from it.

  12. Spoken like a true investor and thus is happy that apple are gorging its customer base. 😛
    Well, just a point to note that when the market share reach a critical point, it can signal a turning point in the profit margin as well.

  13. Superb post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.

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