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Should you build an Android or iOS app for your business?

Should you build an Android or iOS app for your business?

You have finally concluded that a mobile app is the best strategy for your brand, depending on the goals that you intend to achieve. In case you have not, read our article on Why are mobile apps important for businesses?

One last thing that you need to decide, however, is the operating system (OS) to choose for your mobile app development. What are the benefits of one over the other?

Deciding on the OS to settle for is no mean feat. There are a couple of overlapping factors to consider. This article serves as a guide to help you make the best decision for your brand.

An overview of the mobile apps market

Before we look at the factors that you need to consider when choosing the best OS for your app development, let’s briefly look at the mobile apps market in general.

Mobile Apps Market Share

Mobile Apps Market Share

Market share

As you can see from the above image, Android has a 72.26% market share globally, while iOS has 27.03%.

Why is it important to know these stats as a business person looking to build your mobile app? It is because as we will later discuss in the article, the most popular OS may not necessarily be the best one for your brand, depending on several factors that we will discuss. On the other hand, the less popular one may be the best one or not, depending on your unique circumstances.

Mobile apps: user behavior and demographics

Mobile apps: user behavior and demographics

User demographics and behavior

The above image summarizes user behavior and demographics concerning mobile apps. Having an understanding of the above will help you decide the app OS that best suits you and your users.

For example, if your business is a luxury brand that serves users in developed nations, then you are better off going for an iOS app. If your audience or customers are price-sensitive, then you are better off going for Android.

Factors to consider when choosing between iOS and Android for your business’ app development

Now that you have a general understanding of the mobile app development market, let’s explore the factors that you need to consider when choosing between iOS and Android for your brand.

Your goal

The first thing that you need to consider is what you intend to achieve with the app development.

Here are the most common goals:

Companies' goals for their mobile apps

Companies’ goals for their mobile apps

If you are looking for an additional revenue stream for example via IAPs (in-app purchases) where users pay to access more app functionality, or for in-app subscriptions, iOS is the way to go.

In the United States, as shown in the image below, 77% of the in-app subscriptions income from non-gaming apps was from iOS users.

Consumer spend in mobile apps

Consumer spend in mobile apps

Your users

The second most important consideration should be your users. You need to understand your customers or audience very well. You are at an advantage here if you have been running your business for quite some time. This is because you understand your customers and their needs too.

The information that you have about your users will come in handy to help you settle on the OS to choose. For example, if most of your customers are younger, with high-income levels, and your brand serves first world countries, then you are better off building an iOS app.

On the other hand, if your brand serves lower-income users, then Android is the better way to go, even if your users are in developed countries. (There were 120.5 million Android users in the USA in 2018, and expected users in 2021 are 130 million as shown in the image below)

Android Users

Android Users

Timelines

How soon would you like your app to go to the market? The answer to this question is one of the greatest factors that will determine the OS that you will choose for your mobile app development.

It’s no easy decision. For iOS, a lot of the users’ devices are currently running on the latest OS version. On the other hand, Android users take a long time to adapt to newer OS versions. (See image below)

OS Versions

OS Versions

Image source: https://fueled.com/blog/mobile-stats/#jump3

What technicalities does this bring when it comes to app development? It may take a shorter time to build for iOS as there are fewer devices and UIs (user interfaces) to take into consideration. On the other hand, it might take longer to develop for Android as there are too many devices to take care of.

Before you now conclude that iOS is better as it may take a shorter time to develop, there is another piece of the puzzle that you need to consider. The iOS app store, being more stringent will take longer to approve your app, as it needs to meet their stipulated requirements. On the other hand, Android apps take faster to be approved by the Google Play Store.

App features

As aforementioned, iOS is more stringent with the applications that they allow on their app store. This significantly reduces the number of features that an app can have. That said, iOS is also said to be more secure and therefore might be a better solution for enterprise-focused applications.

On the other hand, Android allows for as many features as you would need, so you have more freedom to choose what you need for your brand. That said, Android is less secure, as it is open source (the code is accessible for developers to contribute and build on).

In conclusion

Choosing between iOS and Android for app development can be a difficult decision. We have looked at some of the major considerations to look into and we hope that we have helped you make a more informed decision.

If you are looking for an android and ios app development company to help you build an app for your brand, look no further. Talk to us for customized solutions that best suit your needs.

About the Author
Abby Nduta
I have a way with words. Linguist turned into a digital marketer, and on her journey to becoming a backend developer.