A new report has found that the war between Android and iOS isn’t producing a clear winner. Mobile analytics firm Flurry revealed that the number of Android devices on its network doubled over the past year to reach 564 million as of April 2013. The firm notes that “there is more than one race for mobile market share occurring simultaneously.” Google’s operating system has controlled the device market since late 2012, however iPhone and iPad users consistently spend more time actually using their devices. Time spent using apps was almost equal between the two operating systems in March of 2012, but Apple pulled away with the launch of its third-generation iPad. Flurry speculates that Android’s software and hardware fragmentation has hurt its app ecosystem by creating more obstacles for developers.
“Hundreds of different device models produced by many manufacturers run the Android operating system,” the firm wrote on its website. “App developers not only need to ensure that their apps display and function well on all of those devices, but they also need to contend with the fact that most devices are running an old version of Android because the processes for pushing Android updates out to the installed base of Android devices are not nearly as efficient as those for pushing iOS updates to iOS device owners.”
Not only is Apple winning the race in device usage, but it is also winning when it comes to profits and developer attention. Android has managed to capture the attention of emerging markets with its lower priced devices, however, something Apple has not yet accomplished.
“There are multiple contests for mobile market share occurring simultaneously,” Flurry explains. “That raises a question about whether that is a temporary state that will eventually give way to a clear overall winner or if there can be multiple long-term winners. For the moment it seems as though the consumer is winning in that they are able to choose devices from two dominant ecosystems as well as several smaller ecosystems.”