Opinion

Why iOS still gets all the best stuff first

I’m sure a lot of people know this already but I still see several people out there who wonder why iOS gets all the best stuff before Android. Their argument is that Android outsells iOS so Android should get all the best stuff first. And by ‘stuff’ I mean apps and games.

It’s true that Android outsells iOS and everything else out there by a wide margin. But to the developers it doesn’t matter how many total users are out there if only a small portion of them are going to buy their apps.

One of the reasons why Android outsells iOS by such a wide margin because devices running Android are available at wide variety of price points. In India, for example, you can get an Android phone from ₹4,000 to ₹40,000. The cheapest iPhone in comparison costed ₹20,000 (not on sale anymore) and the latest iPhone 5 costs ₹45,500 for the base model. Same is the case in most countries around the world where phones are sold unsubsidized. The point is, Android devices are inexpensive and it’s the inexpensive ones that sell the most and form the bulk of the marketshare.

The problem is, people who buy inexpensive devices rarely spend a lot of (if any) money on apps. Heck, I’ve heard people buying expensive smartphones costing upward of ₹30,000 whining about paying for apps. The problem of piracy is also more severe on Android because it’s just so easy to download and install pirated applications on the device without any modification other than enabling an option in settings. And lastly, there is the fragmentation. The sheer variety of hardware and software configurations that needs to be taken into account before making anything.

Add the three and you can see why Android still plays second fiddle in the minds of developers. Android might have a lot of users but it has few that matter, at least to the developers, and often it’s not worth the effort. iOS users purchase more and pirate less and there are more of such people than on Android. Sure, one day Android will grow so big that this particular group of people will outgrow its counterpart on iOS (even if the percentage doesn’t grow within Android itself) but until then iOS will continue to get all the best stuff first.

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