Android

Android: Dominant in market share, but also in stability

New studies reveal that Android is the least crash-prone mobile OS. Enterprises of all sizes should take notice, because a mobile crash rate can put a significant dent in revenue.

Android

Apple's iOS used to be the safe choice in mobile. It's lost market share over the past few years, yet it remains the mobile OS that "just works," happily running a broader array of high-quality apps with minimal fuss and downtime.

Except that it doesn't.

Not compared to Android, anyway. According to a new Crittercism analysis, a mobile application performance management vendor that processes over 30,000 requests per second from over 1 billion mobile users in real time, Android, not iOS, is the most stable, least crash-prone mobile OS. In fact, Crittercism found that Android KitKat's 0.7% crash rate was well below the 1.6% crash rate detected on iOS 7.1.

Android: Market and performance dominance?

Small wonder, then, that Apple is back in court, suing Samsung for $2 billion in damages. Last year, Samsung shipped 314 million Android-based devices, making Samsung the market leader in terms of volume.

Perhaps more troubling for the perfection-obsessed Apple, however, is that Samsung also leads the market in terms of quality, at least as measured by app uptime. Despite relying on Google's Android OS, Samsung has the lowest crash rates in the industry, as Crittercism's report shows (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

Samsung has the lowest crash rates in the industry.

In other words, the worst Android showing -- Google's Nexus 7 -- is equivalent to iOS' best device, the iPhone 5 (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

The worst Android showing is equivalent to iOS' best device.

Surprisingly, the iPhone 5 crashes 15% less than the more advanced iPhone 5s. Those considering an upgrade to take advantage of the 5s' superior performance may want to wait for the next version.

Who cares?

Does it matter? After all, for all the devices and operating system versions mentioned, the worst performance is a 2.6% crash rate. That's not that bad.

Or is it? For a company with $1 billion in annual revenue, the costs of crashes are significant, according to Crittercism's report:

  • At 97% uptime, the company would lose $2.5 million per month
  • At 99% uptime, the company would lose $0.8 million per month
  • At 99.9% uptime, the company would lose $82,192 per month

For a company of that size, these numbers may not be a big deal, especially as mobile in large enterprises tends to be additive to existing businesses. So, the $2.5 million represented above is not a net loss, but rather simply less added value.

Still, the numbers add up (or subtract, as the case may be) for enterprises of all sizes, as Vision Mobile's 2013 developer report reveals (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

The numbers add up for enterprises of all sizes.

If you multiply the average revenue per developer by the average size of development team for mobile and enterprise application development, using VisionMobile's data, enterprise-oriented development teams make 16 times more revenue than consumer-oriented development teams. A 2.6% crash rate can put a significant dent in that revenue, whatever the size of the business.

Getting better all the time

The good news for Apple is that it's steadily improving. iOS 6 had a crash rate of 2.5% while iOS 7.0 registered a rate of 2.1%. As for Android, its tablets have worse crash rates than phones, but this performance differential should diminish over time, as well.

For enterprise developers, this is great news. Their paychecks depend on it.

About

Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. In his day job, he is the vice president of business development and marketing at MongoDB. He was previously chief operating officer at Canonical, ...

10 comments
TrajMag
TrajMag

Android/iOS - Funny but the US Government and a majority of enterprises in the world rely on Blackberry not the multimedia vurnerable phones in this report. Blackberry  - Secure and reliable as a rock.

radleym
radleym

Wow- don't panic,  Apple folk.  Try taking some deep breaths.  It doesn't mean your device won't work.

I just love the kneejerk comments.

jfreedle2
jfreedle2

Well from what I have seen, iOS is still far more functional than Android would ever be.

yodi.collins
yodi.collins

Who on earth does this guy think he is fooling with this?

OldHenry
OldHenry

This isn't about Android it's about Samsung phones. According to the story Samsung phones are more reliable than Apple's.

Chilidog67
Chilidog67

The link in the story explains how they obtain their data.  Basically it seems they report on apps that crashed during load, so I'm not sure how that 100% relates to ios or android OS being the culprit.  I work with Android, Windows, and Apple devices all the time, and while there have definitely been some lemons I haven't found any of them to be too crash-happy.  At home we have Android and Apple devices, I'd say the perception is the Androids have been more stable.  Most frustrating thing with the Androids is the manufacturers and their frequent unwillingness to release OS upgrades.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

Seeing an article that says Android being dominant on TR kinda surprises me.

Timbo Zimbabwe
Timbo Zimbabwe

Really? Nice ad disguised as a story. My iPhone has NEVER crashed and I know a lot of people with iPhones that don't crash. I also know several people with Android phones that complain about crashes all the time....

Bozo T Clown
Bozo T Clown

Crashing on what?  Doing what? What is the impact?  Where do you get the uptime statistics?  How can these people know what is going on?


It would be nice to see real world data and information rather than meaningless numbers with no context ... :-(

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

@TrajMag  you have to update yourself more. Blackberry is a dying company that keeps giving false hope to their users.

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