iOS hit big this past October by surpassing 18 billion total downloads. But the Android Market has 10 billion total app downloads so far, and is growing at a rate of 1 billion a month. Who will turn out to be the victor in the smartphone category? At the Le Web Conference, Google chairman, Eric Schmidt, made a sweeping declaration that “Android is ahead of the iPhone now.”
Let’s take a closer look at the numbers. According to comScore’s latest MobiLens report, 46.3% of smartphone users have an Android device, compared to 28.1% for Apple. This coupled with the total downloads in the Android Market, it is not surprising Mr. Schmidt would make such a statement. There are more people with an Android device and an increasing amount of downloads from the Android Market. Mr. Schmidt went on further to say that Android would be first on the list for app developers to build.
However, those at Flurry calculated developer support for new projects on iOS and Android. With their calculations we can see that support for Android has actually declined throughout the year. One major event for iOS came with vendor expansion to three of the top four carriers this summer iPhone 4S. Developers took notice to this expansion and the successes of the iPad 2 in February and the 4S in October. What resulted from these events was increased developer support for Apple.
Another reason developers cling to Apple is rather simple. Money. Developers make three to four times as much money on iOS than they do on Android. After some more number-crunching Flurry noted for every $1.00 on iOS, the same app would only generate $0.24 on Android. Despite Android’s efforts with the recent integration of Google Wallet and Checkout, and $0.10 app sale, app developers believe iOS will continue to dominate during the Holiday Season.