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iPhone just embarrassed Android again — here’s why

galaxy s21 plus vs iphone 12 pro
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple's main advantage over Android is that there's one OS to rule them all. It's easy to roll out iOS updates for the smartphones it manufactures itself, after all. And new stats have just revealed that the adoption rate for iOS 14 has blown Android 11 out of the water.  

A new report from Mixpanel (via AppleInsider) reveals that the iOS 14 has a whopping 90% adoption rate since its September 16 release last year. Impressively, it was at almost 50% just six weeks post-launch. Meanwhile, since its September 8 release, the Android 11 adoption rate is sitting at just 20% right now. 

These aren't official numbers from Apple, but they do show the stark difference in ecosystems nevertheless. Apple's iOS rollouts are full of improvements and easy to install. While there can be a few irksome bugs at launch, these are usually ironed out pretty quickly. It's also fairly difficult to roll back your iPhone to an earlier version of the software, although the same can be said for Android updates.  

Google has a somewhat tougher time, which is down to the sheer diversity of smartphones and manufacturers. While having such a variety of choice is great for those shopping for the best Android phones, it's a double-edged sword. Android users often end up waiting months for the latest software updates to roll out to their smartphones — unless they own Google's own Pixel devices.

Google devices like the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G are top of the list when it comes to Android OS updates, but other manufacturers' devices have to wait an age. Apple also has the added bonus of supporting its older devices for longer, which is a boon when taking into account soaring smartphone prices, and the fact that people are tending to hold on to their handsets longer these days.

Delayed OS rollouts and lack of support after a set number of years when users aren't upgrading their phones as frequently as they perhaps used to is undoubtedly the culprit here. And these iOS 14 vs Android 11 adoption rates reflect Apple's biggest strength when it comes to the battle between iPhone and Android devices. 

We expect Apple's advantage to continue as it introduces iOS 15 and Google works towards releasing its Android 12 software.     

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Shabana Arif

Shabana is T3's News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). As well as contributing to Tom's Guide, she's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies.