iPhone fanbois just can't keep up with Android enthusiasts

Posted by Trent Nouveau

It seems as if iPhone fanbois just can't manage to keep up with dedicated Android enthusiasts.

That's right - Apple iPhone users are notoriously slow and reluctant to  upgrade their beloved, walled-garden iOS.

"[For example], two weeks into the [respective] upgrade cycles, almost twice as many Motorola Droid users had upgraded to Android 2.2 than iPhone 3GS users who upgraded to Apple iOS 4," confirmed Localytics researcher Meredith Vieira.

"The reason? iPhone upgrades require connecting your phone to your computer. [Of course], this raises another question, will Apple eventually offer over-the-air upgrades to iPhones and (especially) iPads?"

Vieira explained that Localytics had mined its mobile app analytics reports to study the upgrade rate for two of the most popular smart-phones in the US: the Apple iPhone 3GS and Motorola Droid.

"[Now], both had big upgrades this summer - Apple released iOS 4.0 on June 21 and Motorola released Android 2.2 (aka Froyo) on Aug 12. For each day over the next two weeks, we recorded the percent of users who had upgraded to the new release.

"[Yes], Apple enjoyed an unsurprising and early spike with 30% of iPhone 3GS users upgrading in the first two days. [Meanwhile], Droid owners had to wait patiently for their over-the-air (OTA) upgrades, which were rolled out slowly at the start and then fully released around August 20, more than doubling the number of total upgrades in just one day.

"[But] by the end of the first two weeks, 96% of Droids had been upgraded to Android 2.2 while just 56% of iPhone 3GS were running iOS 4. Two months after the release of iOS 4, over 20% of iPhone 3GS users still haven't upgraded to iOS 4."

According to Vieira, Apple will eventually be forced to provide OTA upgrades for both the iPad and iPhone - at least over WiFi.

"[So in the meantime], Apple developers, be aware that you'll likely have a good mix of current and older versions of iOS running simultaneously. The good news is that mobile apps can already be upgraded OTA and staying under 10 MB means that apps can also be downloaded over mobile networks.

"[And] for Android developers, be aware that your entire customer base can migrate to a new OS in just days!"