The Android mobile phone operating system may be approaching an important milestone in its fight with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Android usage

Android was always ahead of Apple in terms of mobile shipments, but the key issue was usage.  Cell phone networks that track this usage had always reported the Apple iOS usage was always significantly higher than Android. Until now.

Android beats Apple in usage

A new study from Net Applications notes Android beats Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in usage.  For the first time Google’s Android usage stands at 44.62 percent in July versus 43.75 percent for Apple’s iOS.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s diminishing lead over Android comes as it has been trending lower while Google’s Android has been steadily growing.

Android’s share of global combined smartphone and tablet usage rose to 43.75 percent in June. Apple, on the other hand, is dropping in popularity, holding only 45.61 percent of the usage in June.

Android vs iOS usage

Android usage stood at 37.75 percent in April, then climbed to from 41.58% in May. On the other side of the coin, iOS’s global share dropped below 50% for the first time in years when in May it fell from 51.11% to 48.34%. Then the trend continued in June, as iOS’s usage share fell to 45.61%.

The loss by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be slight, but it was enough to move it into the second slot for the first time since Android’s debut.

While the usage statistics are interesting, they are by no means conclusive or a guarantee of future success.  Things could heat up in the near term, as Apple prepares to launch its iPhone 6 in nearly on month.

But as previously reported in ValueWalk, the key issue could be revenue.  On the app store, Android leads in applications downloaded, but it is Apple that takes the prize in terms of highest revenue generated. A recent study from App Annie, which reviewed download data from app stores in 150 nations, found that during the 2nd quarter of 2014 applications downloaded from Google Play were at 60 percent higher levels than the Apple App Store.  Perhaps most interesting, however, is that the Apple App Store significantly outpaced Google Play in terms of revenue generation, producing 80 percent more cash than Google.