Saturday, 6 April 2013

iOS versus Android: the app arms race

In the aftermath of the release of the Samsung Galaxy S4 last week, and Apple’s marketing backlash, the iOS vs Android arms race has hit a milestone. Android is growing faster than ever, in terms of both their market share and the revenue they pay out to app marketers. Apple’s marketing has taken on a decidedly ‘attacking’ tone. ‘There’s iPhone. And then there’s everything else’ is clearly mirroring the phrase, ‘Here’s the best, forget the rest’. It’s about time, we thought, for an infographic on the iOS vs Android feud as it stands now. Which is the best platform for app marketers? Let’s consider some factors, or scroll down to view our infographic right away.

Smartphone and tablet market share

Some contests seem to have been won by Android categorically. Last month, the worldwide smartphone market share figures stood at 69.2% (Android) and 22.1% (iOS). These current figures are actually more in Apple’s favor than the October figures (75% and 15%), due to the release of the iPhone 5. But now the S4 is here, it’s likely we’re going to see the gap widen again.
On other counts though, iOS is the reigning champion. While Android also takes the lead in terms of tablet market share and smartphone app downloads, albeit with smaller margins, iOS is far, far ahead in terms of tablet app downloads; which must be due to the fact that there are over 275,000 optimized for the full-size iPad and iPad mini.

iOS vs Android app revenue and monetization

It is also a widely known and inescapable fact that, on the whole, iOS apps monetize much better than Android apps. The type of user that iOS attracts (and nurtures) are high earning and very engaged users. But that’s not to say the situation isn’t changing for Android.
While iOS pays out four times as much revenue to app marketers than Android, app revenue growth is growing five times more rapidly on Android. But will it stay this way so that Android can catch up and even overtake iOS? This remains to be seen, as we watch the battle of the platforms progress.

The life of the app marketer

In terms of the day-to-day of marketing apps on the respective platforms, iOS is a less fragmented platform with higher app marketing costs but greater profits for advertisers. It is also much easier and more predictable to carry out iOS App Store ranking boost campaigns due to the ranking algorithm being more heavily weighted on download volumes than an intransparent selection of factors. On Android, we see a more complex and fragmented reality for app marketers.
We created the following infographic to compare iOS and Android in terms of market share, user demographic and app marketing.
There’s a myriad of points on which you can compare the two platforms, and on reflection I think the conclusion must be this: both are winners in their own ways. Highly democratic I know, but that is how it is. Final words: Compare everything and identify and support the platform that’s right for your app.

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