iOS outreaches Android by 59% in US

iOS outreaches Android by 59% in US

Turns out when you stop the ridiculous practice of comparing Android (an OS) to iPhone (a phone), and compare Android to iOS (another OS), Apple's operating system outreaches Google's by 59% in the US, or 37,868 phones to 23,763.

Now Android growth is still accelerating faster than iOS, and if nothing changes, Android will eventually eclipse iOS, but this remains a far better, saner, and more sensible comparison than the previously, convenient to the point of manipulative "phones that run Android vs. phones that run iOS" numbers we've been subjected to in the past. This is "devices that run most Android apps vs. devices that run most iOS apps". It's far more meaningful to everyone, from Apple and Google to developers.

“These data clearly illustrate the Apple ecosystem extends far beyond the iPhone,” added Donovan. “Though it’s frequently assumed that the Apple user base is composed of dedicated Apple ‘fanboys’, there’s not a tremendous amount of overlapping mobile device access among these users. This of course has significant implications for the developer community as they consider the market potential in developing applications for different mobile platforms.”

There are some other interesting numbers, like the percentage of smartphone to iPad owners. Check the link below for the details. Anyone surprised by the results, or just surprised it took this long to start seeing them?


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iOS outreaches Android by 59% in US


Haha, it only seems ridiculous because the iPhone was usually on the bottom. Now we are including iPods to even the odds? Perhaps Apple fans were flummoxed to see the staggering growth of the Android platform and were left fuming staring at the statistics, wondering how to make it look better. Those adjectives don´t look all that funny now, eh?

Why is it only fair to compair Android OS to iPhone but not Android OS to iOS? Isn't that the logical comparison? OS to OS? You don't like that because when you do it this way its fair right?! Would it be fair to place you in a fight against Mexico or a Mexican? Did that make it simple enough for you? Idiot!

No, it's not fair to compare OS to OS. Because nobody runs Android on what is categorized as an MP3 player.
It's fair to compare OS to OS WITHIN the smartphone market. It would be fair to compare OS to OS within the smartphone + tab market. It's NOT fair to compare OS to OS within the smartphone + tab + mp3 player market.
Even with that said, comparing OS to OS within only the smartphone market is the best comparison. I love smartphones and have had several of them. I don't have a need for tablet though. The tab market is a completely different market than the smartphone market.

Don't forget they could also, and just might, include ATV in that number of "all devices running iOS" since that's also a version of iOS, right?

Frank you are right android has truly become a major competitor to look for some angle to find any which way to make the numbers even is rather sad. Proves that the ios group is now grasping at straws.

I'm an iPhone 4 owner but I have to say now this goes a too far to the other extreme. When it comes time to throw QNX into the comparison, should we include all "QNX powered devices" like NASA and military equipment, lol? The only fair comparison, apples to apples, would be phones to phones (i.e. the iPhone 3GS vs. the HTC Droid Incredible vs. the BlackBerry 9530, etc.), tablets to tablets, etc.

Of course not, the same way this doesn't include Apple TV or Mac OS X which shares the same BSD Darwin kernel. Include devices that run the same apps; that's the meaningful point of comparison.

I have to agree. I understand the point she is making, but it doesn't quite fit since iOS only runs on Apple products whereas Android is on many competing products. There will not be ONE device running Android that competes with iPhone sales, so all Android smartphones must be included together. In the end I have the feeling the the iOS will be recognized as the better phone OS whereas Android will be the better OS for tablets.

Of course no one Android phone beats the iPhone. There are CHOICES for people to choose between on NUMEROUS carriers as compared to the iPhone. iOS also includes all iPads and iPod Touches out there so naturally it is still ahead of Android in the U.S. but looking at numbers and trends it appears as if this won't be the case in the coming future.

Hmmm, they don't look that much alike to me. The Samsung has that handy Google Search widget.

This reminds me of when MS claimed that Zune was the the number one selling 30 GB HDD based media player or some such thing. Anything to make you feel better, I guess.

NO, that's not right, because in this comparison you are also considering the iPod Touch that runs iOS and Android doesn´t have a Music/video player like that... SO you should compare PHONES with Android vs PHONES with iOS.... and Tablets with Android vs Tablets with iOS... and so on.
It is obvious that there´s a LARGER number of iOS devices owners (iPads get a big number) than Android.
...I don´t own any Android device, I own an iPhone 4, iPod video and iPod Touch.

The iPod Touch is just an iPhone without the phone part, or a very small tablet. I'm not sure why anyone would NOT include it, other than to try and push the Android numbers ahead.

Doesn't it say phones? I highly doubt there are only 37k iPhones and iPods COMBINED in the world or US. (assuming the numbers above are US figures only)

I find this type of logic mind boggling. The number of devices that run Android that are not phones is at this time small. So lets be realistic and honest, not pedantic.
For TOTAL OS installs: There are more iOS devices than Android Devices. Fine.
For TOTAL phones running android, versus TOTAL PHONES running iOS: There are more PHONES running Android.
This is the only comparison anyone has ever made. The iPod Touch is not a PHONE. It is a media player/mini tablet at best. And no, iPads are not PHONES either. Android is first and foremost a PHONE OS. So when comparing market share between SMARTPHONE OSs (see that word PHONE in there?) Android currently has a lead over iOS. The fact that either OS can run on other types of devices is irrelevant. If you removed the devices that run Android that are not PHONES, the numbers would change by a minimal amount. Compare devices that perform the same PRIMARY function. Not those that run the same Apps.
Can't anyone just be happy with their phone and not care about all this meaningless arguing? If you like the device great? If Apple disagrees with the numbers then you know what? Apple will refute them and fight their battles. They're big boys, I think they can handle themselves.

What difference does it make whether or not some iPhone owners are "dedicated fanboys"? If Apple has fanboys, it's because their great products have made people into fanboys. Do companies that suck have dedicated fanboys? No, because their stuff sucks.
Which team on the field receives the most cheering? Oh, wait... you can't include the 'dedicated fans'... only the people who don't give a shlt. :roll:

Let's be absolutely fair and say this: Who cares who has greater reach? Isn't it great that there's competition spurring greater features and greater devices, no matter which side of the fence you land on? I'm an Android user, and I know that without iOS, Android wouldn't be as innovative as it is (and neither would iOS have had a reason to keep pushing the envelope were it not for Android).
No matter which phone you use, can't we all just be friends? :)

(Oh, and while I use an Android phone, I was one of the people standing in line on day 1 of the iPad 2 launch; I still don't think there's a better tablet out there at that price point).

Dude !! Exactly my point ... I'm an IP4 user but i'm glad Android is doing well.... We dont want Apple to sleep on their laurels.

And who cares who wins.... I've used all the major OS' (Blackberry to Blackberry to Android to iOS) and I prefer iOS. Big deal. Nothing Android is going to do (including giving itself away FOR FREE! (see that will make me come back. If I HAD to get rid of my iPhone 4 ... I'd go back to a non-touch screen Blackberry.
Anyways, I enjoy TiPB and all, but the Android phanboys (that I used to watch over on androidcentral .. are ridiculous.... why troll another phones board thinking you'll change someones mind??)
Quit wasting your time and go play your ad-invested Angry Birds while draining your battery 20% an hour.

This type of argument is getting kind of old and the comparison is irrelevant. First off when android say how they market are growin faster than iOS, look at how many phone android come out a week not to mention a year. But I don't like how iPhone user using the "all android phone vs 1 iphOne" bs argument either. There is only 1 iOS phone! now if there was only 1 android then it's a fairer comparison. Android is too diluted to make any comparison when it comes to these number competition

It is funny how everyone forgets that iPhone had only one carrier in the US for more that three years where android has all the carriers. Verizon started selling iPhone less than nine months ago.

That will more than likely change if and whenever the iPhone goes to more carries in the US.

How about we stop the ridiculous practice of all these statistical comparisons! Android and iOS are totally different. The variety of phones and devices they are available on, the development and distribution model for applications that run on them, the permissibility of manufacturer customizations for them, even their maturity with iOS being a few years older and few more cycles down its development chain. Reach is just as a pointless comparison as any other thats been discussed. Beside all of that, what exactly does bickering over these statistics prove to anyone? Enjoy your phones without worrying about what everyone else is buying!

Getting drunk on the apple Kool aid anyone?
Really who cares of someone owns an iPhone or owns android. What does it matter to you. This may sound harsh but if it bugs you that much then it sounds you have been brainwashed by jobs. Relax.

Or brainwashed by Google, but I agree. I'm bored with this :/ I love my iPhone and could never stand the buggy Android phones, but I'm really glad they're out there to get Apple to develop better products (and a better notifications system, omfg). It bothered me that people who should know better were falsely comparing iPhone to Android, but I personally could care less. I just want an awesome phone, really :3

Thank you Renie for chiming in on this.
When people classify things, it is meaningful only if the classes are analogous; so far they haven't been.
Each Android device maker has customized their UI and their hardware. If "Android" wasn't part of the marketing, you might wonder if they were indeed related. Sure they can run Android apps, but each phone is different. To compare Android phones against iOS phones just isn't meaningful. Well, it could be if there were only one Android phone, or if all Android phones had the identical UI - but they don't.
Comparing devices that can run Android apps (including the Playbook!) vs devices that can run iOS apps is somewhat more interesting, but is it meaningful?
Perhaps we want our baseball/football/basketball team to win? Well, okay, I do, but is it meaningful?
For me, I like comparisons by maker and phone. Which Android phone is selling well, and why? This HTC line or that Samsung line? How does that compare to the iPhone? This is more meaningful, in my opinion. It might even give clues to where the industry is headed.

Yea, because "the industry is heading towards HTC" is such important information, and so relevant compared to "the industry is headed towards Android".

Android supporters will never pick one phone to put up agains the iPhone because it means that they lose before it even starts. And because its fair and logical and it makes too much sense.

Erm... bad statistical usage alert! The table has a (000), so the actual iOS usage is around 37 million, not thousand.

Fanboy or not, let's not forget, without Apple we all would still be thinking that the Motorola Razr is still the coolest phone on the market.... Like Apple or not, they paved the way...

Rene, it seems to me that the apple ios iphone world is looking for any and every excuse to still be at the top of an ever expanding market when simply this article is completely ridiculous and you know it. i do not understand why anyone has to be at the top, why cant we all just realize that android is growing and fast and leave it at that. each os has its advantages and some people benefit from one over the other. theres no need for digging up whatever statistic you can find to make ios better than android because some people just prefer one over the other and in the only thing accomplished here is you look like an idiot

It's certainly true that Apple is being increasingly successful by building an ecosystem that certainly extends beyond the iPhone. Yes, both iOS and Android are operating systems, and if you're going to compare capabilities, features, functionalities, etc., it makes sense to compare OS to OS, but still there's interest on each on a phone verses on a table, and then of course iOS is on iPods as well.
But when it comes to comparisons of personal interest and of market interest, I'm in the crowd of those people you just called ridiculous and manipulative because we want to compare based on products like smartphones ("phones that run Android vs. phones that run iOS") -- that's of relevant interest to us, not all Android devices verses all iOS devices (which may be of some interest as well, but is just not specific nor appanretly as relevant to consumer and market interest). Maybe all of us and the major, respected organizations that compile those market stats we find of such interest are just way dumber than you. I just find your article to much about "Rene's way of thinking is the only right way and you're an idiot to think differently." You just won't give it up -- it's annoying. I read blogs on your site way less because of short sided, highly biased, closed minded crap like this. Seriously... Come one and be objective and realistic!
Those stats we are interested in are legitimate, relevant, and of great interest. They're every bit as valid as the way you choose propagate looking at it. They are NOT manipulative or less meaningful. It's a matter of perspective...and yours in not the only one that's right.

It most definitely isn't surprising.
iPod is an unstoppable juggernaut. It's the de facto MP3 player.
Along with no company producing a worthwhile tablet just would be very logical that that would push iOS numbers ahead of Android.
I doubt Android MP3 players will ever get far. But smartphone subscribers will grow for Android. Tablets have yet to be seen. If nobody but Samsung can push out a slim and well priced tablet (without being sued for "copying"), then Android tablet arena is looking pretty dim.

have you not heard about the ASUS Transformer? $399 16GB or $499 32GB. US release 4/26/11, All ready out in Europe. In fact, it was reported they didn't have enough made to fulfill the preorders in the UK. Asus transformer has a 10.1 inch screen 1280x800. Both larger than the current iPad2. Also uses the same IPS screen technology as the iPad2. wieghs 1.49lbs.
You also have the Motorola Xoom. although it pricing very similar to the iPad2.
You also have the LG G-slate. capable of recording and playing 3D video. $549 32GB with 4G contract with T-Mobile.
More Android tablets slated to be released this summer.
Pick what device works for you. It may be an iOS tab or it may be an android OS Tab.
people seem to forget,everything wasn't rosie for Apple when they first released the iOS devices. other wise they wouldn't be at version 4.3 etc...