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Study Claims Android Is For Apps, iOS For Games

A brand new study from Xyologic has arrived announcing the headline, “iPhone is for games, Android is for apps”. If anything is going to start a bit of a flame war, this would certainly be it.

And start a war it has. The Unofficial Apple Weblog responded to the article stating that it was in fact skewed unfavorably against the iPhone/iPad.

Tuaw had this to say:

Xyologic compares the entire US Android Market against just the free iPhone offeringsin the App Store, which is the first warning that its data and analysis is going to be skewed. Comparing the top 150 downloads between these weirdly disparate markets yields the following results:

Entire Android Market:

  • 85 of top 150 downloads are apps, with 91.5 million downloads
  • 65 of top 150 downloads are games, with 33.4 million downloads

Free iPhone Apps:

  • 50 of top 150 downloads are apps, with 25.6 million downloads
  • 100 of top 150 downloads are games, with 71.6 million downloads

If you didn’t know any better, you could easily look at the numbers Xyologic came up with and reach the same conclusion they do: Android users certainly appear to be downloading more apps than games compared to iPhone users. But the fact that Xyologic only chose to analyze the numbers for free iPhone apps skews the numbers so far that the study is essentially meaningless.

Of course Xyologic also chimed in a response, apologizing for not clarifying that the Top 150 Android apps are all free, so therefore they were actually comparing free iOS apps to free Android apps.

Regardless, only analyzing free apps versus free really can’t give us a clear picture over which platform is more ‘business oriented’ and which isn’t. A wider comparison against ALL Android/iOS apps might give us a better look at who is downloading more games but honestly even such a comparison means little.

Just because iOS has more games doesn’t mean tons of people don’t play games and use their iPad/iPhone for business. Such a comparison is really just punishing Apple for having better games, while many Android users may not be downloading as many games simply because it doesn’t have as strong of a gaming offering.

As a person that uses Linux, Windows, OSX, Android (tablet/phone), iOS (iPod Touch)… I honestly don’t get why fans on one side or the other make such a big deal about which platform is allegedly better.

Android has its positive features (more open, more freeware oriented) and negative (malware and security issues), while iOS has its positives (better games, better security) and negatives (not as open, not as much freeware). It really boils down to what you are looking for in an OS, not which is better than the other.

Bottom line, there is evidence from this study (even if it is somewhat skewed) and other studies out there that suggest that iOS users might in fact be downloading more games than apps, but again this doesn’t speak for what kind of users are on each platform or which is better, it just likely means Apple has plenty of great games to choose from.

In short: “Can’t we all just get along?”



About Andrew Grush

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  1. I think I am like the only 14 year old the world who plays hardcore games like gta3 and modern combat 3on an android phone (Sony neo). It’s a damn shame that more android users aren’t taking advantage of their phones for gaming purposes. But this study just shows that iOS is for spoilt brats and playboys who waste their time and money on gaming.

  2. Re: the picture – comparing one of the earliest Android phones (Nexus One) to the latest iPhone design – how about comparing against the Nexus S or Galaxy Nexus?  Perhaps because it wouldn’t immediately get people thinking “God, Android phones are ugly”.  Equitable comparisons please. 

  3. Vlad George Sabau

    I just got my iPhone 4s and I am totally blown away by siri and btw i just won the iphone :)) from here if I remember correctly, getappleproductsforfree(.)com/

  4. Hilariously biased anti Mac/Apple conclusion. It’s ironic too since non-Mac PCs have always lauded for game play. Meaning that if you wanted to play games buy a non-Mac machine. And before you say it… I know they aren’t the same OS or hardware.

  5. One thing I can say about Android is that this OS certainly is NOT BORING!
    What I love about my Galaxy S2 is the endless possibilities it offers me. There is just so much potential to what I can do with this thing! Android takes my to the farthest reaches of the digital world!
    There is always something quirky new. Keeps the experience exciting.

  6. Windows Phone is were it’s at.  In a few years you all be on WP8 or 9 and loving it.

  7. Actually the differance between android and ios runs pretty deep. I have always said and will say forever or until ios broadens it’s horizon that android users are about exploring androif users understand what an operating system is and what that details. Android users understand what is 4g in comparrison to 4s most android users are just more smarter in general. Android has grown and so had its overall ability as an operating system there will never be a time where closed operating systems will beat open operating systems. We are days away from 2012 time has come for people in the tech games to open their eyes and look around at the competing platforms and see that yes they all offer something different but only one allows you the ultimate abilty to learn just like a computer and that’s android. Incosing i look at ios and see NO FUTURE no opportunity for it’s users to fully understand whst makes that os tick you just get your little fancy glass phone and turn it on and be directed by apple as to how you use your fancy glass music player that happens to have games definately more to life than that. If your about learning about rooting, custom roms, or your just about wanting to learn THEN YES ANDROID WILL BE YOUR WORLD PLAIN AND SIMPLE. I take transportation every day trains and buses and live wright in the heart of the money capital of the world New York City there is no question which android devices rule i see evo 4g, evo 3d, galaxy s2, even droid x and the oldest the g1 from tmobile. I see epic devices htc sensations and the original droid with the key board but it just amazes me how many closed mined people i see walking down the street with there little useless 3.5 inch iphone those people must be dense.. This message is typed from my industry leading Galaxy Nexus..

    • Perhaps English isn’t your first language. As you commute, you might consider taking some time away from your tech blog reading to study grammar, syntax and spelling. I’m fairly certain you can find the enter key on your industry leading phone. Most people use that key to start new paragraphs.

      All of these products are packages of features. Each feature will have a different value to different people. For example, 4GLTE on Verizon would be a wonderful feature for those who have been able to keep an unlimited plan and have access to batteries or an outlet for there less mobile phone.

      Android users enjoy doing things TO their phones. iPhone users enjoy doing things WITH their phones. Lots of choices for everyone. Have fun with yours.

      • ShockMe, as a longtime Mac user and iPad owner, one of the things that keeps me on my Android phone is something that you mentioned… if my battery runs out, I have the option to pop the back and put in my spare.

        • Yes that is convenient in some situations. It also assumes you will always have it in your pocket or remember to carry it if you are likely to be away from an outlet for an extended period.

          You can also purchase external batteries and battery cases for both iPhone and Android. But in all cases of adding batteries you give up space and add to the total volume of the phone.

          But I get what you are saying.

  8. Android prides itself on customisability, people that buy Android devices know this and run with it when they get a device by customising features and how they operate their device with apps. iOS prides itself on simplicity and ease of use, from this, iOS users have little expectations outside of stock iOS as far as features and customisation go. This just leaves games. What I find interesting is the tenancy for users to play a game when confronted with spare time over browsing or performing a more task via an app. On my daily train commute, I mostly see games being played on an iPhone or iPad, people using an Android device tend to be browsing the Internet or reading/writing via apps like gmail/ documents or  they are just listening to music.

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