Android vs iOS Device Replacement

benedictevans.pngBenedict Evans has some analysis on Android device replacement. He concludes that people are replacing their Android devices more frequently that the 24 month industry average. During the recent peak growth period, replacement was closer to one year. Benedict supposes that the iPhone replacement is longer than a 24 months.

cumulativeandroidactivations.png 

An interesting observation is that the…

"Android ecosystem has to sell significantly more phones than Apple to get the same number of active users"

and

"a given number of iPhone unit sales might mean more customers than the same number of Android unit sales"

The comments in Benedict’s blog post provide some guesses why the replacement cycles differ. Meanwhile, it’s good news for developers. It means that older devices, on older versions of Android are quickly being replaced for newer Android versions. We can also see evidence of this in the Google Dashboard where Android 4.0.3+ now represents over 85% of devices (accessing the Play Store). For most projects, we have already reached the point where it’s uneconomically viable to develop for pre Android 4.0.3 (ICS) thus also easing the development complexity of most Android app development.