I get asked this question all the time, so here’s a little bit of information on the issue:
It’s really all about the software. I learned long ago that hardware, whether it is a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone is just a physical container that you put data into. What’s important is the data, the software, and how you use it… At the launch of the latest iOS8 by Apple, the most interesting thing the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, said was that when they launch a new operating system, with a very short period of time, that almost all of their user base upgrades to that new software. I think the number is +90% upgrade within 6 weeks.
This morning, in a great article from Business Insider, Dave Smith said: Almost nobody is using Google’s latest and most ambitious update to its Android operating system. Based on the company’s latest numbers charted for us by BI Intelligence, less than 0.1% of all Android devices are running the latest version, called Lollipop. It doesn’t even appear on the chart, because we don’t show distributions with less than 0.1% adoption.
Most Android users are still on Android Jelly Bean (46% of devices), followed by KitKat (39.1%), the most recent version of Android that came out before Lollipop. Android suffers from a ton of “fragmentation” — that is, many different versions of the software out at the same time — because Google gives third parties like hardware makers and carriers lots of leeway on what they can do with the platform. It’s difficult to roll out new updates since each new software edition must pass through so many different channels before it reaches the end user. Unfortunately, this makes it hard for developers trying to build Android apps — which version do they build for?
So, what are we doing? For the forseeable future, it’s Apple…