Ah, for the “good ol’ days” when if you were born English you had a genetic antecedent going back many centuries to fight the French and vice versa. In those long-gone eras, your birthplace was all anyone needed to determine which side of any conflict you’d be on – but today your loyalty in the great schisms of our age is much more confusing and settled in gaudy mobile device stores located in glittery malls rather than on bloody fields of battle. Which side of the momentous iOS vs. Android division should you concentrate your mobile online marketing efforts?
Impactful Differences between Apple & Droid
The iPhone 4S and the top Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S II are feature-packed devices unimaginable barely a decade ago. They offer such rich and intensive user experiences that they are on the cusp of literally changing the way people interact with each other in daily life. As is understandable in technologies so tectonically consequential, there are long lists of reasons why one platform deserves priority attention over the other in developing a brand’s mobile marketing strategy. Here are just some of the most impactful:
- Market Share – Android is swiftly reaching half of total market share with nearly a million activations each day, while iOS seems steady at about a third. Advantage: Android
- Aura – iOS definitely wins the battle here, as Apple’s genius marketers have imbued their devices with an allure that says “Droid is just a phone, iOS is a lifestyle.” Advantage: Apple
- Device Fragmentation – If you develop for iOS you can ensure that the user has the famous Apple icon on their device, but if you’re into Android, you never know what the specific device (and its baffling individual quirks) will be. Advantage: Apple
- App Impact – Cracking the top 100 apps on the iOS side is now the sole domain of the very heavily financed, with smaller brands being cut out, while there is still a reasonable chance for any app to become a bestseller on the Google side. Advantage: Android
- App Development – It can be considerably cheaper and quicker to develop apps for Android while the more expensive and longer period necessary for iOS development can be considered a detraction. Advantage: Android
- Piracy – iOS is a bank vault compared to Android’s unlocked door policy, which is much easier for pirates to commandeer for their dirty deeds. Advantage: Apple
- Quality – PC World’s tests determined that iPhone 4 has the edge on Data Speed; Voice Quality; Video Capture; Display & Resolution; and most Still Camera tests, with Droid X only outright winning Media Playback and Cost Of Ownership/Storage. Advantage: Apple
- Marketing Attribution – Apple has been moving away from the Unique Device Identifier model, befuddling many marketers with the uncertainty of what comes next, while Android is sticking true to their established standards. Advantage: Android
- Amazon Transition – Amazon store users monetize to a greater degree than either Google Play or the App Store, and since Amazon’s app store is Android based, iOS apps are more problematical. Advantage: Android
- Profit – According to Flurry Research, every dollar generated by an app on iOS generates just 24 cents on Android. That more than four times difference is enormous and could be the single statistic that convinces your brand to take a bite out of the Apple first. Advantage: Apple
Windows Phone8 & BlackBerry Who?
In this highly unscientific summary, it seems that Android and iOS are matched five to five, but there are significant extenuating factors (such as that not indifferent one of Profit) that speak volumes for Apple adherence. There are other competitors, of course such as the slightly bizarre Windows8-based devices and the BlackBerrys that are swiftly sinking into the muddy fields RIMming Waterloo, Ontario, never to be seen again.
Should your brand go into battle waving the flag of Appledom? After all, England did claim the French crown for almost four centuries, and for a long period occupied the northern third of France! So… Hail Britannia or Vive La France?