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With iOS 12’s adoption rate now at 72%, Android should be embarrassed

Published Dec 4th, 2018 8:39PM EST
iPhone vs Android
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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As far as tech debates go, iOS vs Android remains one of the most impassioned topics in tech these days. While many users prefer the intuitiveness of iOS, many others are drawn to the more open competitor that is Android. And believe it or not, there are still other smartphone users out there who find Android to be easier to use.

Now, we could spend hours debating the pros and cons of iOS and Android, and how they each stack up against one another, but that debate seems to miss a larger point: Most Android users are using an antiquated version of the OS.

Earlier this week, Apple updated its iOS usage figures and revealed that 72% of iOS devices sold within the last four years are running a variant of iOS 12. Meanwhile, 21% of devices sold in the last four years are running some variant of iOS 11. Put simply, an impressive 93% of iOS devices sold since 2014 are running a mobile OS that — in a worst case scenario — is about 14 months old. The state of affairs with respect to Android adoption couldn’t be any more different.

Taking a look at Android’s developer dashboard — which was last updated in late October — we see that a tad more than 50% of Android devices are running Marshmallow or an earlier OS. In other words, the majority of Android devices out there are currently running an OS that — in a best case scenario — is at least three years old.

Even more jarring is that 31% of Android devices in use are running an OS that is at the very least four years old. In light of that, what’s the point of debating iOS vs Android features when the vast majority of Android users out there are wholly incapable of taking advantage of and enjoying said features?

The chart below certainly speaks volumes.

Interestingly, the rate of iOS 12 adoption has moved along at a much faster clip relative to iOS 11, a fact which is likely due to the fact that iOS 12 — rather than focusing on wild new features — was designed to improve overall system performance and reliability.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.