iOS is Apple’s proprietary mobile operating system that we see used primarily in iPhones and iPads, though variants of iOS are also used in other products such as Apple TV and the Apple Watch. iOS is always optimized and fine-tuned so as to make the most out of a device’s hardware, and Apple keeps a close watch on any third-party software developed for their mobile operating system.
In contrast, Android OS may be developed primarily by Google, but it is an open-source OS based on the Linux kernel. What this means is that anyone is free to improve, change, and adapt it as they see fit, leading to Android is much more widespread and implemented in a wide variety of different devices. However, this flexibility comes at the cost of optimization and security that iOS is known for.
iOS vs. Android: Market data
Market share of units sold:
In terms of market share, Android has been the top platform worldwide since 2016. In 2018, around 217 million iOS smartphones were sold by Apple. In comparison, as per Gartner statistics, Android sold 1.3 billion units in 2017.
Market share of apps:
Google Play Store had 2.6 million apps available for download in December 2018, whereas the Apple App Store held the second position with around 2 million apps.
In 2018, the total number of downloads on the iOS and Google Play stores were 28.4 billion. Google Play downloads accounted for more than 20 billion downloads during this period.
Average App Revenues:
When it comes to app revenue, the difference between Android and iOS is the larger reach of the former versus the latter. In 2017, Apple’s iOS apps generated $40 billion, whereas Android apps earned $21 billion through Google Play Store and $20 billion from third-party stores.