It’s no secret that iPad owners love their apps. Whether you prefer to spend time with indispensable social media, gaming, and weather apps or prefer to seek out mind-broadening educational offerings, there is something for everyone on the App Store, whose offerings run broad and deep. A new report from Flurry Analytics confirms their popularity isn’t just anecdotal, as the company recently reported that iOS users spend more time with apps than Android users do.
Flurry Analytics decided to look past Android’s current lead in device market share to see how Android and iOS owners differ in how they use their phones and tablets. After analyzing four years worth of company data, Flurry Analytics discovered that Android users and iOS users differ the amount of time they spend accessing applications.
According to Flurry Analytics, Apple dominated the tablet/smart phone device market share until late 2012 when Android pulled ahead. However, iOS device owners still spend more time with apps than their Android-owning counterparts.
As the graphic demonstrates, app usage by Android owners was gaining steadily on iOS owners usage, without ever surpassing it, until the release of the iPad 3, when it started to decline.
Flurry Analytics suggests that app share doesn’t follow device share for a number of reasons. First, the rich iOS app ecosystem draws in end users. Folks who buy an Android phone may not be looking for the same experience, but rather may be simply upgrading a phone and view apps as an extra rather than one of the principal drivers behind their purchase. Secondly, the Android app ecosystem remains fragmented, which hinders developer’s ability to create robust apps for the wide variety of devices that run the Android OS.
Finally, in a twenty-first century version of the chicken-and-egg debate, Flurry Analytics speculates that the iOS App has created a self-perpetuating positive cycle. Developers create apps that consumers will value and use because they know that the consumers are a ready market, but consumer enthusiasm is also likely driven by the quantity and quality of the available iOS apps.
Is there room enough for two giants in the mobile operating system market place? Flurry Analytic’s report shakes its Magic 8-ball, and says, “signs point to yes.” The company points to what they term “side races” — including profits, where Apple is the clear winner, and the developing world, where Android is likely to emerge as the leader. It is, however, certain that both sides will continue to battle it out on all fronts.
Did you come to iOS for the apps? I know that I did. Do you think you spend more time using iOS apps than your Android OS-using counterparts?
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ben Atkin.