Android holds 80% of the marketshare in the global smartphone market. In emerging countries like India, the number goes up to more than 90% whereas it is a lowly 60% in the US. The iPhone is the smartphone of choice for most people in the corporate sector. An iPhone is considered ideal for all those for whom uninterrupted and seamless communication is vital. The gesture friendly and highly intuitive iOS interface ensures the same to all iPhone users. This coupled with iPhones’ OTT messaging application is what adds to its appeal. The convenience afforded by these over-the-top messaging applications are many-easy sharing of pictures, audio and video, absence of any character limits, and most importantly international calls are cheap. OTT messaging platforms like iMessage are built on the the native SMS application loaded in iOS, so that users experience powerful ‘network effects’ (we are getting into the ecosystem advantages here).
One of the biggest advantages that iOS has over Android is that updates can be quickly made available to users. Contrast this with Android users who are required to wait for months on end to get the latest update on their phones. As per a recently revealed statistic, Android Marshmallow shows an adoption rate of only 4.6% amongst Android phone users. With so many Android smartphones around, each model requires a reformed version of the update to be made available by Google. For iOS users, on the other hand, the latest version of iOS is made available to them instantly. Moreover, the tendency of some smartphone makers to bring out customised versions of Android OS by layering their proprietory OS make matters even more difficult; case in point being cyanogen OS by OnePlus, and Flyme OS by Meizu.
The relative ease with which iOS update can be introduced as opposed to Android is also perhaps the reason why app developers choose to release an iOS version of their software first prior to the Android version. How much ever one might be inclined to think that Android might lose its sway over this relative disadvantage, there are experts who contend quite the opposite-Motorola, HTC and other major players are working towards reducing the use of customised software so that they may closely resemble stock Android. Not only this, but Google’s association with Nexus models will allow it the luxury of bringing out standardised updates. (I hope it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone why Nexus users are amongst the first to receive Android updates). Though the Nexus suite is not released per se under the Google brand name, there is no underestimating Google’s overreaching impact on its making and upkeep.
Unarguably, Apple has been at the helm of all breakthrough trends in smartphone design and hardware technology in the past decade, but with the rising predominance of software, Internet and related technology, the battle for supremacy my well move into a new arena where the world’s largest internet company holds the upper hand.