Apple vs. Android, from a developer perspective

iphone 8 apple stockElisaRiva / Pixabay

There are many ways to measure whether Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Android is winning in the ongoing battle. Some say Apple has better apps and Apple users spend more money, so Apple is winning. On the other hand, Android has many of the same apps Apple and so many more than anyone could ever need or want, just like Apple.

As a result, well-known tech guru John Gruber of the Daring Fireball blog argues that we shouldn’t look at the battle between the two in terms of apps. Rather, he suggests that it’s a battle of ecosystems—and one that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is winning.

Why Apple’s one phone gives it an edge

While many have complained about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s decision to put out so few phones, Gruber believes that this actually works in the company’s favor. He says that from a hardware standpoint, this makes it easier for developers to target iOS devices. In addition, he states that Apple’s graphics processing unit “is now, or within the last two years once was, a top-of-the-line mobile GPU.

So he believes that even though many argue that Android’s wide array of devices means it offers more to users, the operating system is a disadvantage in this area. He notes that from the perspective of a developer, it is easier to support an entire platform if there are fewer devices on that platform. In fact he says what developers want is a lot of users on a single platform with just a handful of devices, which is exactly what Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) offers.

iOS versus the Android OS

He also explained the differences between iOS and the Android operating system. He says that although on the surface, they look the same, but under the hood, they’re quite different. He does note that Android allows certain things that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) does not. However, he says Android is “shallow” in many other areas, like video playback and GPU accelerated animation.

He has spoken with a number of developers who all told him that iOS is “far easier” to support than Android.

Apple users are more valuable than Android users

Gruber notes also that while Android’s share of the global market is 70% and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s is 25%, it would seem that Android is the winner for developers. However, he says this assumes that all users “equivalent,” but they aren’t. Multiple studies have shown that Apple users spend more money than Android users, install more apps and use their phones more. He states that this means Apple users are better customers than Android users.

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About the Author

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle has been with ValueWalk since 2012 and is now our editor-in-chief. Email her at

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