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  • WRITTEN BY Jorge Rojas POSTED ON January 15,2014

Android vs. iOS, it’s a battle of the brands that evokes passionate responses from both sides of the technology isle. In 2013, the battle intensified as Apple launched iOS7, and Android gained significant ground as the standard OS installed on a barrage of devices. As the dust settles from a competitive year we’re left asking, “Who won?”

Because the business models for the two companies are very different, it’s difficult to make a side by side comparison and crown a clear winner. For example, you can find Android on more devices such as major brands like Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Android is also the choice for budget brands like Asus, RCA, Tesco, Aldi, and many more that you’ve probably never heard of. Based on this, you may want to declare Android the winner. However, Apple has the ability to leverage its iOS to make greater profits than what Android makes for Google, so by this standard you would call iOS the winner.

The reason that the Apple business model is more profitable is because Apple controls their product on both the hardware and software side of things, whereas with Android, Google manufacturers far and few devices. This means that Google’s Android profits come from selling their software to third party manufacturers, which is likely a slim markup. Apple on the other hand only distributes iOS on their hardware, which means Apple sees far greater profits with the sale of every one of their iOS devices.

By the numbers, you can see that 2013 was an extremely competitive year between the two companies. You will have to play the role of referee to determine for yourself who won after reviewing the stats.

  • Apple’s iPhone saw its sales grow by 26% in Q3 of 2013 compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This translates to 33.8 million iPhones sold in the third quarter alone, which is an iPhone sales record for Apple.
  • In the U.S., consumers prefer high-end tablets at a ratio of 2:1.
  • Also in U.S., the iPhone accounts for 59.2% of the market share.
  • Concerning the rest of the world, Android is the popular choice claiming 79% of the smartphone market. Compare this to Apple which only claimed 14.2% of global smartphone sales.
  • iOS users tend to spend more money than Android users, accounting for 23% of all online sales on Christmas Day 2013. Compare this to Android users that were responsible for only 4.6% of all Christmas Day online sales.
  • On the same shopping day, iOS users spent more money per online transaction than Android users. iOS users averaged $93.94 per transaction, compared to Android users averaging $48.10 with each purchase.

Looking at numbers like these, you can see why software developers have a hard time choosing between iOS and Android. Whereas Android has more worldwide users and it’s easier to put apps on the Google play store, iOS users have deeper pockets and a tendency to spend more money. The potential to make more money with Apple is why many developers will jump through the extra hurdles of getting their product on the Apple App Store.

You may have a preference between Android and iOS, you may even prefer another mobile device platform, but considering the evidence of 2013, it seems like the verdict of a clear winner is still out, primarily because each company is hitting different markets and meeting different needs. This leads us to conclude that there’s room for both platforms and this battle will rage on well into 2014. Pick a side in the comments!

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