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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Is this PR spin or are Apple users really more up to date than Android users?

There was a headline that caught our attention this morning which said iPhone User? 90% Chance You’re On The Latest OS. Android User? 0.4% Chance which was published by TechCrunch, a reasonably popular technology portal.

At first glance, this was a very powerful statement being made and the story sounded compelling as it immediately gives you the impression that if you're using an Android device, you're probably using a device that's behind the technology curve or dependent on a manufacturer to release a software device for you, which may never come.

However, when you start examining some of the contents of the story, you realize something that glaringly stands out and which could actually mislead you completely.  The story talks about how many users are using Apple's iOS version 4 (without distinguishing between iOS versions 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2) whereas for Android, they compare against individual versions within versions 1 and 2.  In the chart which appears in the story (that you see below) it clearly shows that actually that 87.4 are using an Android 2.x software version on their device and this in that case doesn't compare too badly against the 90% using an iOS 4.x version on an Apple iPhone.

While there is no doubt that it is easier to get upgrades on an Apple iPhone (as there are in essence fewer models of handsets available), it is a much more complicated story on Android devices as each manufacturer has to prepare a customized upgrade for each and every model (due to the fact that most manufacturers don't run "stock" Android and put their own user-interface or skin over the version of Android that's running).

It still makes you think though if TechCrunch, which is by itself a fairly respectable news source meant to purposely mislead us or not, but it's shows that headlines aren't all that make a story and a little understanding of the facts and figures is still required, even if it's from a publication you trust.

Posted By: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics