The iOS vs Android debate has been ongoing ever since the platforms were created over a decade ago. And considering the internet’s tendency to favor Android, it’s worth describing why iPhone users prefer iOS. With the number one reason being its user experience.
Apple is great at making tech products for non-tech people. And iOS does a fantastic job at keep things simple enough that everyday people can pick up an iPhone or iPad without being intimidated by an overly complicated interface that plagues many Android devices. And although figuring out how to use an Android smartphone isn’t rocket science, the point is that people enjoy using products that are convenient. And if they can figure out how iOS works quicker than Android, you can bet they’ll view that product as more convenient and less frustrating. Also, smartphone manufactures typically apply their own custom skins to Android. Meaning its interface is different depending on which hardware it’s running on. Which makes the entire ecosystem appear even more convoluted and confusing for most people.
That brings us to perhaps the worst part about Android; the fragmentation. Just consider the thousands of different Android devices on the market today compared to the eight iOS devices being sold. It’s an unbelievable difference that has a huge effect on the user experience. First, iOS devices outperform Android every time. In fact, the cheapest iOS device, the $400 iPhone SE, is actually faster than one of the most expensive Android devices, the $1,400 Galaxy S20 Ultra. And fragmentation is to blame. This is primarily due to Chip manufacturers like Qualcomm being forced to build a one-size-fits-all chipset, capable of running on thousands of different Android devices.
Whereas Apple designs their own custom chips, optimized to power their own custom hardware, which runs its own custom OS. That’s the biggest advantage Apple has over almost every Android manufacturer today. They control the hardware, software, and chipsets included in their products. And it’s why Android devices might have more processing cores or more RAM, but is still smoked by the cheapest iOS devices. All that raw power isn’t being optimized by the hardware or operating system because Qualcomm; the chip manufacturer, isn’t on the same page as Samsung; the smartphone manufacturer, who isn’t on the same page as Google; who provides the Android operating system.
But the benefits of Apple’s all-encompassing approach to their products doesn’t stop there. Have you ever noticed that there are a lot more high quality, low cost apps available on the iPhone or iPad compared to Android smartphones or Android tablets? It’s because developers prefer creating app for iOS over Android. They only need to optimize their apps for a handful of iPhones and iPads, the vast majority of which are running one version of iOS. Rather than ensuring their app can run on thousands of different Android products running several different versions of Android. Also, developers make more money on app sales on iOS, likely because pirating is much more difficult on a closed platform, rather than an open source platform like Android.
Another benefit of iOS are the updates. iPhones and iPads not only receive new updates on a regular basis, but they’re also available on older devices. The latest versions of iOS have supported devices that were released five years earlier. If you have an Android device, you’d be lucky if it’s still receiving updates after two years. That’s a really big deal to customers spending a $1,000 or more on a new smartphone.
The last benefit many iOS users enjoy, is its seamless integration with other Apple products. And while Apple haters will call their users sheep for being locked down to one company’s ecosystem, you have to recognize that virtually every single tech company is trying to lock down their customers to their own ecosystem. It’s just that Apple is the best at it. Google tried to do it by releasing their own tablets in addition to the Chromebook and Pixel, but those tablets were a complete failure and eventually discontinued. Microsoft tried to do it by releasing their own Windows phones in addition to their computers and tablets, but they were also a complete failure and eventually discontinued. Samsung is trying to do it with their Galaxy smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and notebooks. They’re having the most success out of all other Android manufacturers, but Samsung still being dominated by Apple in the tablet, smartwatch, and notebook markets.
The reason why Apple is so good at integrating their product ecosystem is because they’ve been doing it since the company was founded in 1976. Apple was building and integrating their own hardware and software at a time when all computer manufacturers were licensing the Windows operating system from Microsoft. Apple created one of the earliest popular mobile devices, the iPod, and made sure it worked seamlessly with their Mac computers.
When mobile devices like smartphones and tablets became popular, Apple found themselves in the best position seamlessly integrate all of those products, and it has turned out to be the right approach. Because companies like Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and Huawei are now trying to catch up and adopt the same approach.