Android is widely acknowledged as the most used mobile operating system for smartphones and tablets, but Cook correctly pointed out that if you consider each version of a mobile operating system as a distinct release, iOS 6 clearly leads the pack.
Why? Because Google hasn’t figured out a uniform or at least efficient way to update the slew of Android devices to each new release of the operating system – a situation often referred to as Android fragmentation.
Speaking at the opening of the company’s big WWDC developer conference earlier today, Cook said that 93% of the installed base of Apple iPhones and iPads are on iOS 6, while the percentage of Android devices on the latest version of the OS is around 33%.
“It’s a pretty bleak story,” said Cook. “Even more so when you consider that more than a third are using an operating system released in 2010.”
He also said fragmentation is “terrible for developers.” One way fragmentation impacts developers is that if a new app incorporates features designed to take advantage of the latest OS only a fraction of users will be able to benefit because the rest will still be using the older OS.
(Choosing the right mobile OS to develop for will be among the key topics at the Tablet Ecosystem conference on Nov. 13 in New York).