When one decides to develop an app, factors taken into consideration regarding the choice of platform usually involve the characteristics of target audience and the ease and cost of developing for different operating systems. But differences in hardware do influence how users will interact with your app as well.
Hardware still matters
About 9 months have passed since Apple released its newest iPhones – the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. With this launch, Apple managed to beat a few sales records of their own, which included over 10 million units sold within mere three days from the release date. As usual, Apple did a great job hyping up its latest iOS-based devices. And this time it was almost entirely about hardware. The positive reception centered around features such as the quality Retina HD display, the touch ID sensors as well as the upgraded camera. But, perhaps, the biggest revelation was the bigger-than-ever screen – with 4.7 and 5.5 inch respectively, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus managed to catch up with some of the biggest smartphone that run Android and Windows Phone. Why does it matter for developers?
While Apple finally decided to give in to the pressure and increase the screen size, a whole lot of iOS-based devices still only have the maximum of 4 inch at their disposal. This has for years impended iPhone’s capability as a gaming device. When you add the natural lack of physical buttons on the majority of today’s smartphones, the lackluster reception among gamers was understandable. iOS gamers turned to iPad for a more satisfying gaming experience.
Difference in performance – difference in purpose
As we mentioned in the previous articles, Windows and Android phones can be found across a much wider price range than Apple’s products. In fact, the considerable price gap between iPhone and “the rest” is only widening. Only a few days ago, Apple reported the average selling price (ASP) of the iPhone to be $660 – an increase of 17.6% compared to the last year. At the same time, average Android phone sell at $254 (Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi managed a whopping $220). Android phones are affordable, but with the affordability comes poorer performance. This negatively influences the number of apps installed on Android devices and time spent on each of them. The average Android owner is more wary of storage limitations (despite the fact that iPhone devices don’t use SD cards) and less likely to actually spend money on apps.
Interestingly enough, quite a lot of manufacturers of Android-based smartphones pack their products full of powerful specs, including 4- and 8-core CPUs and 2-3 GB of internal memory. It doesn’t help them outperform 1GB- and 2-core based iPhone devices. The reason behind it is superior optimization of Apple’s system, which doesn’t require nearly as much resources to run apps effectively. Seamless performances encourages the use of apps that require a lot of interactions and updates.