Just as significant is the latest news that nearly 90-percent of all iOS devices currently in use worldwide are running the latest major version, iOS 9.x. The value of that commonality cannot be understated or overlooked because it’s not a phenomenon you’ll see with Apple’s competitors.
While Windows has a similar fragmentation issue, allow me to focus for now only on iOS and recent versions of Android OS. While iOS 9, released not even a year ago, has nearly 90-percent market penetration among iPhone and iPad users, the latest Android OS– Marshmallow– is available only on a few newer smartphones, and adoption into the marketplace just hit 10-percent.
10-percent? Vs. 90-percent? How is that possible?
It’s all about control. Apple took control of how iOS updates would take place, while Google ceded control over Android– to a certain extent– to device manufacturers and cell phone carriers. Think of how you receive app updates and operating system updates on your iPhone.
A little red badge tells you apps and the OS need to be updated to a newer version. In some cases, apps can be updated automatically in the background. iOS upgrades are equally painless and require little more than a few clicks.
That contrasts sharply with how most Android devices are updated to the latest version. They’re not. Many cell phone carriers do not allow upgrades at all, and prefer that customers upgrade by purchasing a newer model with the latest available version of Android.
That methodology is flawed and leads to a growing gap between the masses of Android customers and iPhone customers. iPhones are updated more frequently which ensures that iOS remains far more secure for a far larger segment of the customer base than Android.
It’s math. And it’s a very serious issue for which Google does not have a solution.
Serious? There are hundreds of millions of Android-based devices which are subject to security problems that cannot be fixed. The solution is simply to get a new device and throw away the old device. It’s that simple and that ugly.
Android Lollipop, which was released a few years ago, is used by nearly 35-percent of Android devices. Android KitKat, released about four years ago, remains at nearly 20-percent, almost twice the usage as the latest, Marshmallow, which just topped 10-percent.
That lack of adoption is dangerous for device owners who are left with hardly any upgrade path at all, thanks to manufacturers and cell phone carriers who are more interested in having customer upgrade by purchasing a new device than they are for caring for customer security and dependability issues now.