At the Worldwide developer conference (WWDC) in San Jose, Apple showcased its range of new software, including iOS 12 which powers iPhones and iPads. Apple says it has close to over 1 billion active iOS devices, and iOS 12 will be one of the biggest releases from the company as it supports devices launched back in 2013 as well. This includes older devices like the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, 6s series, the Apple iPad Air, iPad mini 4, as well. The iPod Touch 6th generation, which was launched back in 2015 will also be eligible for iOS 12.
Apple was quick to highlight the difference between them and rival Google’s Android when it came to the matter of updates. Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi showcased two slides on how Apple iPhone users were quick to get upgrades for iOS 11 when it launched. According to Apple, in just seven weeks, half of their 1 billion customers were on iOS 11 when it rolled out last year.
But, Federighi did not stop just there. He also compared Apple’s iOS 12 adoption to Google’s Android. While iOS 11 now stands at over 81 per cent iOS devices, Android’s latest version is at 6 per cent, according to the slide shared by Apple. This would be Android Oreo, which launched last year.
During the keynote, Federighi mocked Google as well saying, “We just love the way customers race to update to our newest releases. In fact, half of our customers upgraded to iOS 11 in just seven weeks. 81 per cent of over 1 billion actives. Now, when you look at the competition, it is hard to say they really have a software update.” According to Apple, iOS has fastest adoption of software. The company also claims that customer satisfaction for iOS 11 is at 95 per cent.
Of course, this difference in adoption of the latest version of iOS in comparison to the latest version of Android is nothing new. Android fragmentation is a major problem for Google, and one that Google has not been able to solve, though this year more devices are eligible for Android P beta. According to Google’s own dashboard for different versions of Android, the Oreo 8.0 version has a base of 4.9 per cent devices, while the Android Oreo 8.1 which is the latest build is even lower at 0.8 per cent.
In contrast, Android Nougat, which was launched in 2016 is still on over 30 per cent devices (over 22.9 per cent on Nougat 7.0, while Nougat 7.1 had 8.2 per cent devices). The 2015 Android Marshmallow is on 25.5 per cent devices.
For Google and Android, the problem has also been of getting smartphone manufacturers to upgrade quickly is not as easy to solve as it is for Apple, which controls both hardware and software. There are variety of hardware specifications floating in the market when it comes to Android. Still, one can agree that for most Android users, the wait for a software upgrade can be never ending.