The might never be a true winner in the iPhone vs Android war, but the latest signs once again point to Apple having a huge advantage over its rival – and it’s something that looks set to continue to shame Google throughout 2019.
Updating the iOS adoption stats section of its developer page to kick-off the new year, Apple has revealed that 75% of all eligible devices are now running the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 12.
Narrow that down to products released in the last four years and that figure rises to an even more impressive 78%, which is an upwards spike of over 5% since Apple last updated its iOS adoption stats about a month ago.
Throw 2017’s iOS 11 release into the mix and you find that 92% of all Apple mobile devices are running an OS made in the last two years, which is no doubt heartwarming stuff for the Cupertino-based company.
A 10 minute drive down the road at Google’s Mountain View headquarters, though, things are looking a lot less rosy.
Last updated in October 2018, Google’s Android distribution dashboard shows a worrying amount of devices still running long-in-the-tooth versions of Google’s mobile OS.
At the top of the pile is 2016’s Android Nougat, which (taking versions 7.0 and and 7.1 together) features on over 28% of devices, followed by 2017’s Android Oreo releases (8.0 and 8.1) on roughly 21%.
Alarmingly, 2018’s Android Pie doesn’t even show up in the stats, while even more worrying is the fact that 2015’s antiquated Android 6.0 Marshmallow is still running on over 20% of devices, while the even older Android Lollipop from 2014 is on approximately 18% – the Apple equivalents are iOS 9 and iOS 8, to fully illustrate the severity of Android fragmentation.
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While a complex issue, the main problem with Android fragmentation is that it means the latest Google software functionality isn’t available to a large number of Android users.
Moreover, it tempers excitement around new 2019 phones like the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy X. While these are almost certainly set to boast eye-catching designs and a host of powerhouse specs – including Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 SoC and in some regions 5G – they could also be stuck on 2018’s Android Pie for much of their life span.
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