Which Mobile Platform Should Startups Choose in 2021: Android Or iOS?

By Dileep Gupta
May 13, 2021 5. min read
Last update on: May 13, 2021

Back in 2008, the iOS App Store was launched with 500 apps. Today that number has skyrocketed to 1.85 million apps that are available for users to download. Android users have a bigger app universe to browse from that consists of over 2.56 million apps available in the Google Play Store. It is safe to say that we are living in the digital era! 

To prove we are in the digital era, let’s recall the numbers.

Did you know that the number of smartphone users worldwide surpasses 3.5 billion? As per the Statista- Smartphone User forecast, it is estimated to further grow by several hundred million in the next few years. 

There are 7.94 billion devices connected worldwide and this number is more than the number of people in the globe! Hence, there is no denying the fact that mobile applications are an integral part of our daily lives. 

Number of smartphone users worldwide from 2016 to 2023

Keeping the above data in mind, many entrepreneurs are planning to start a mobile app centred business. 

If you are amongst those businessmen who are looking forward to creating a mobile app, then the first question to address is – which is better among Android vs iOS development? 

In this article   you will walk through certain factors that will influence your choice, and embibe you with the iOS and Android App Development Platform.

Let’s get right to it.

Apple vs Android: Market Share

According to Statista, in 2020 the market share of Android and iOS was 86.6% and 13.4% respectively and these numbers are expected to reach 87.1% for Android and 12.9% for iOS in 2023.

Apple vs Android Market Share

Looking into the above graph, you can conclude that Android is a clear winner in the mobile operating system market share worldwide and is expected to remain so in the years to come. It is so because the Android startup apps are the most adopted ones for almost every smartphone vendor other than Apple. 

Also, Android is an open source platform that allows and makes it easy for mobile phone manufacturers to add their own look to the operating system. 

Apple vs Android: App Downloads

According to Statista Market Forecast 2016–2021, there will be 196 billion annual downloads from Google Play store by 2021, all thanks to growing smartphone and app adoption worldwide. 

While from the iOS store there will be 42 billion downloads. Android again wins when it comes to app downloads worldwide and it is expected to enormously grow in the years to come.

Mobile App Forecast Annual Downloads

After reading all the above facts and data  it is highly advisable for you to  make yourself familiar with the process of startup app development

We have curated a complete guide on apps for startups, with A to Z information about the process of getting your idea live on a mobile application. In this article, we will answer all the questions that every entrepreneur who is new to the app industry might have.

Which Is Better – iOS Or Android?

Android vs iOS development is a never ending debate between software developers. The quest to- Which platform should startups choose has no one word answer. There are solutions that depend on various factors that an entrepreneur should consider before making a decision. 

Let’s go through all the factors one by one:

1. Demographics 

There is no denying the fact that Android smartphones have a larger demographic than apple users. 

Also, there is no denying the fact that Apple is considered a high end device in which users are willing to purchase apps. So, Apple users are generally found in prosperous parts of the world. 

For example: The USA is considered among the highest revenue making countries, thus you will find a larger number of iOS users there. 

As per the reports by Statista, currently there are more than 113 million iPhone users in the United States, accounting for about 47 percent of all smartphone users in the United States. So if you are targeting the western demographic, I suggest you to hire iphone app developers. 

Share of smartphone users that use an Apple iPhone in the United States

2. Fragmentation

In simple words, fragmentation refers to when users are running different versions of a mobile operating system and using different mobile hardware models or mobile devices. 

We are aware that iOS devices and their release cycles are controlled by Apple alone. As a result, once a year Apple synchronizes iOS version releases with device releases. Hence, fragmentation issues are less. 

However, when we talk about Android, fragmentation issues occur constantly, further making life of the android application developers difficult at the time of testing and quality control. Thus, Android fragmentation increases development cost and maintenance time.

3. Design and development

In terms of designing, Google Material Design has a greater influence on UI and UX. Mobile app developers feel that when it is about coding mobile apps then Swift is a much easier language to start as compared to Java.

However, design and development is one factor that depends less on the platform and more on the skills of your partnered mobile app development company. When you are linked with a brand that has it specialization in the development of both Apple and Android apps, it is of the least matter about which platform requires less developmental efforts as both are done within equal efforts.

Now that we are aware of the factors involved, let us discuss the reasons to go for android startup apps and iphone startup apps separately. 

Why Choose Android Startup Apps?

You should go with Android first if your audience is not concentrated on any one specific demographic or target audience. Also, if there are a good number of customization elements in your mobile app, go with Android. 

Below are the advantages of using Android. 

1. Greater user base 

Majority of users globally use Android devices as compared to other devices, which gives you a large pool of potential users.Not having an android app for business means losing limitless opportunities and audience for your product or services. 

2. Open source platform 

Android is an open-source platform which means Google doesn’t charge any fee for using this platform. Wherein, Google also provides Android app development tools and technology for free to the developers. Thus Android app cost is comparatively lesser than iOS app cost. 

So, it is a cost effective solution for your startup budget.

Hardware device manufacturers such as Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi, etc., all use Android as their default OS. 

3. Customizable apps 

Android app development allows the app developers to customize the applications as per the business requirement. This means your business app development will get done with the right requirements and required flexibility which might not have been possible with any other platform. It is always a good idea to hire an android app development company that can help you with your startup app. 

4. High ROI

The moment you publish your app on the store, you get a big pool of potential users that you can tap into. Since you have such a wide market to target, the return of investment on your android app would be instant and always on a higher end considering your Android app development cost. 

5. Compatibility

One of the biggest advantages of choosing an android app over iOS is that there’s no restriction on devices that is to be used for building an android app. You can build an app on any device, be it Windows desktop, Mac, or the Linux system. 

The fact that makes Android a go-to platform for all the sectors with interoperability needs is that it allows you to expand your brand across devices and systems . 

We now understand the advantages of choosing android apps. Let’s dig deep and see what are the reasons to go for iOS app development for your startup. 

Reasons To Choose iPhone Apps

You should place your startup’s first mobile app on iOS by investing in a sound reputed iOS app development company if you wish to come in the sight of the app store’s target demographics. 

Let us discuss the advantages of choosing iOS apps for startups:

1. Security

Security is the utmost requirement for any business because sensitive enterprise data is lodged in apps. Android apps are a big risk when it comes to security while iPhone users are cushioned against hacking and malware. When you compare the iPhone vs Android on the basis of security, iPhone apps protect firmware and software through stringent security measures such as :

  • Integrated data handling systems
  • Measures to prevent duplication of data
  • Measures for loss of security by data encryption

Read here about platform that is secure for your app

2. Revenue

The ones that have a greater ROI than Android apps are the iPhone apps.. The best revenue generation opportunities that you can get from your iOS application development process, is to keep an eye on the mistakes, tips and tricks, and other related information would be a big advantage. You can look for iOS app development services that can help you with your vision. 

3. Established customer base

The biggest USP of Apple is its established customer base. Apple is a pioneer in technology and applications. Apple has a well-established niche of its customer base that swear by Apple’s quality and performance and are loyal to the brand. That’s why it is said that once a smartphone user experiences the iOS platform, they will never be satisfied by any other OS and will stick to Apple. 

4. Low fragmentation and testing

As discussed earlier, Apple generally develops just one updation on its existing OS every year. Also, the number of Apple devices are lesser than Android-based ones. Thus, Android apps should be tested comprehensively to get its better functioning on all the versions of Android OS. 

On the other hand, iPhone apps just have to meet testing criteria of its previous iOS versions. This constantly reduces testing time and guarantees a rapid time to market for its apps. This also results in saving apple app development cost. 

Wrapping Up

After reading the write up you must have understood that there is no right or wrong answer, it all depends on your requirements. We have seen specific scenarios favouring the iOS platform and others suggesting us to go for Android. 

By keeping all the above information in mind, you can contact a mobile app development company that will help you build your app without worrying about the operating system.

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Dileep Gupta
Dileep Gupta
DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER
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