iOS 4 Powers 68% of All iPhones

I know it’s my own research, and it’s weird for me to report on it, but hell… it’s my blog, I’ll do what I want.

The latest Chitika Research study to come out – from me – shows that iOS 4 continues to make big strides in the iPhone world.  Not surprising, really – I reported earlier in the summer that after just one month in the market, iOS 4 had already snatched up 50% of all iOS devices.  It’s a big upgrade.  I’ve got it now on my iPhone 3GS and iPad (yeah, I have a friend with a developer account, so I get the operating systems early… be jealous of my awesome multitasking, folder-making iPad with a unified inbox).

It’s interesting, too, to know that despite iOS upgrades being a manual install, iPhone owners are taking the initiative and doing them.  In comparison, Android updates are performed over the air automatically, but their newest OS – Android 2.2 Froyo – is only appearing on 43% of Android devices coming through Chitika.

This illustrates the difference in mobile strategies between Apple and Google.  Apple, obviously, wants to create a Disneyland sort of experience, with every ride (read: app) and every interaction controlled, overseen, and quality assured by Apple.  Thus, Apple provides one handset (per year), and one carrier.  All apps are approved by the App Store, which allows no nudity, sexual innuendo, or political cartoons (I kid).

Google, on the other hand, is all about the open.  Every handset running Android has its own unique variant of the operating system, which is a big part of the reason new versions take so long to proliferate.  Sure, Froyo is done and ready to go, but everyone involved with an Android phone has input on it – just to update, say, the HTC Desire, it’s a project.  HTC puts their own spin on Android, which must be ready and updated for a new OS structure.  Then either Verizon or AT&T has to sign off, adding their own little quirks and software skins to brand the phone to themselves.

In the end, Android users have some good and some bad.  The good is that their phone is open; they can install any app, they can get into the source code and screw around, and they can pick carriers besides AT&T (not a part of the “open” mentality, but I’m kind of sick of AT&T… Free my iPhone!).  On the other hand, everything that’s involved in their operating system must be updated by a dozen third-party engineering groups before their particular handset is ready to update.  Apple users can just pop their phone into iTunes the second a new OS is released, click “update”, and voila – they have the newest version of iOS.

Unless they’ve got an iPhone 3G, of course… then they just have a brick.