When we talk about the Android/iOS wars, we often talk about it as a purely binary conflict. If one side wins, the other side must lose.
According to the latest Flurry Mobile Report, though, that simply isn’t true. There’s room for two kings, and while Android has surpassed iOS in overall marketshare, people spend much more time in-app on iOS.
Techcrunch has a great write-up of what Flurry’s latest report is showing:
Apple leads Android in time spent in apps as both a total, cumulative figure on Flurry’s network, and on a per device basis, broken down by various device types. It’s a little difficult to wrap your head around; why would the mobile OS with the largest overall share not also take the win for most time spent in apps? Flurry argues that iPhone shoppers and Android buyers were considerably different, at least at the outset of the smartphone wars, with those on iOS actively seeking out a device that could operate as a pocket computer, and Android users merely being pulled in with the tide when they go to upgrade their feature phone, thanks to price discounts and a range of available models, some as cheap as the dumb phones they’re replacing.
According to Flurry, Android’s fragmentation problem is a considerable barrier to Android users, and results in a poorer in-app experience that is ultimately driving that in-app average down.
Flurry’s making a good point here: “victory” in the mobile wars doesn’t have a lot to do with who is biggest. There’s room for two kings of mobile, and Google can make a great business off of having the biggest smartphone market, while Apple can make one off of having total control over a much smaller ecosystem. The real problem is for third-tier competitors like Windows Phone, BlackBerry and so on: how can they possibly make a dent against such titans?