Mobile apps present wonderful opportunities for a small business. However, with so many smartphones and operating systems available, knowing which platform to target can be a challenge. In most cases, the choice is narrowed down to these two: iPhone and Android. Which platform is right? How do you choose? This article will provide some insight on how small businesses can make the right decision.

iPhone vs. Android in the Smartphone Market

As smartphone platforms, it is difficult to compare the iPhone and Android when considering that one is an actual phone, and the other is an operating system installed in mobile devices made by various manufacturers. What is clear is the Android’s dominance in the smartphone market. According to the latest data from research firm comScore, Android currently has 46.9% of the market share. This is in comparison to just 28.7% for the iPhone, which Android surpassed in 2010 and never looked back. Ranked number one and two, both have a comfortable lead on competitors like RIM, Microsoft and Symbian.

App Downloads

While the Android OS may have wrestled the top spot in the smartphone market away from iPhone, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the platform a small business should pour all their efforts into. In fact, app usage may be a better way to make the determination. According to Apple itself, there are currently over 500,000 applications available in its App Store, which has reportedly helped the company generate more than 15 billion app downloads from roughly 200 million users worldwide. This is compared to over 7 billion downloads for Android apps, a number that was tallied up by Androlib, a site that focuses on all things Android Market.

Where’s the Money At?

If a small business really wants to know which platform they should create an app for, revenue is probably the best area to examine. Unlike the above comparisons, which were at least somewhat competitive, the battle is not even close here. According to data recently compiled by analytics company Distimo, the Apple App Store brings home six times more revenue than Google’s Android Marketplace for the top 200 best selling apps. Experts believe the reason for this is the fact that Apple’s store offers far fewer free applications than Google’s version. In any event, the numbers clearly indicate that consumers are spending much more money on iPhone apps.

Enjoying the Best of Both Worlds

When it comes to creating an app, choosing between the iPhone and Android is anything but easy. Considering that they are arguably the two biggest platforms in the smartphone space, small businesses would probably be better off targeting both. After all, they are pretty comparable, with the exception of the revenue department, and even that could get more balanced as the Android Marketplace continues to grow. The small business that realizes what dominant forces the iPhone and Android are in the mobile arena will be in position to enjoy the best of both worlds.


作者 Aidan Hiljeh

Aidan Hijleh is a freelance copywriter and serves as the Non-Profit Partnership Liaison for Benchmark Email.