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iPhone App Development vs. Android App Development

31st October 2012

When it comes to mobile app development, you ignore the iPhone or Android at your peril.

While there are more Android handsets than iPhones, over 30% of internet traffic from mobile devices comes from iPhones, compared with just under 26% from Android devices. The remaining 44% comes from RIM and Symbian devices and other iOS devices like the iPad.

iPhones account for 30.43% of mobile internet traffic compared to 25.66% from Androids.

When all iOS devices are considered, 73% of ad revenue generated by them comes from apps rather than mobile websites. The typical mobile user spends around 100 minutes per day using apps, and nearly 18 million apps are downloaded yearly. Today, around 20% of all searches are mobile, and of those, 40% are local searches. If you have a brick and mortar business, you can’t afford to ignore mobile development, because a decent percentage of the people doing mobile searches are nearby, and ready to make a purchase.

Which Platform Should Your App Target First?

If you want to make both an iPhone and an Android app, you should tackle iPhone app development first, and here’s why. First of all, when you build an iPhone app, you’re building an iPad app at the same time. While Android tablets are on the rise, the iPad currently dominates. Additionally, iOS devices are responsible for more mobile web traffic than Androids, and when one OS dominates in web traffic, it’s a good indicator that it’s the OS you should target first.

There are technical differences between iPhone app development and mobile development for Androids as well. Mobile development for Android apps is more complicated, because there are nearly 4,000 Android devices representing some 600 different brands. The sheer diversity of Android devices compared to iOS devices makes it harder to build apps that will work on all of them. Another factor is that Android users are less likely than iPhone users to upgrade their mobile OS, so you can’t count on Android users to have the latest OS, the one you’ll be designing apps for.

Finally, iPhone app development is more lucrative. Not only do iPhone apps generate nearly 8 times the revenue of Android apps, around 84% of online gaming revenues and 92% of mobile purchases are generated by iOS devices.

The iPhone vs. Android App User

As most everyone knows, iPhone users are remarkably loyal to Apple. A recent ArsTechnica poll asked what, if anything would make iPhone users switch to an Android. Over 10% responded with “I’ll never ditch my iPhone.” Just under 11% said that Google Maps might cause them to switch teams, and just over 11% said that if they could make third-party software the default, they’d go with an Android device.

Android users have different wants and needs than iPhone users; namely, less expensive phone/data plans and better coverage.

Android users generally want less expensive phone plans and better mobile network coverage, and aren’t as interested in having more apps or in having devices with larger screens, according to data gathered by Android Authority.

Smartphone usage continues to increase, and along with it goes demand for the latest apps. If you’re interested in mobile development, you want a final product with an outstanding user interface, no matter how simple or complex your app idea is.


Squareball Studios (SBS), is a creative, design, and development agency of mobile applications and software systems. SBS has helped develop solutions for Fortune 500 companies and partnering with startups on initial ideas and seeing them succeed.

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