Google exec: Android adoption most successful in history

Fact check: Is Android the most successful, fastest adoption of an operating system in history, as a Google executive claims?

Apple/Google

A Google executive claimed Wednesday that Android has seen the fastest and most successful adoption of any operating system in history.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Nikesh Arora, senior vice president at Google, said the following, courtesy of Seeking Alpha:

I mean, look, in the history of operating systems, I think Android has been the quickest and most successful adoption of an operating system in the world. So you just sort of stop, take pause and say, oh my God, that's crazy. Nobody could have ever predicted that we're going to get an operating system adopted in an industry, which has so many different OEMs, manufacturing with their own operating systems having adopted around the world.

A report back in 2012 claimed that both Android and iOS were growing 10 times faster than PCs did in the 1980s.

And it's clear that iOS on the iPhone and iPad had blistering adoption rates (with one study, back in 2010, showing iPad had the fastest adoption rate ever).

Also, the adoption rates of iOS upgrades, such as iOS 7, tend to outpace Android.

But recent data from IDC and App Annie (December 2013) show Android, for example, with a big lead over Apple in the installed base of smartphones (see chart at bottom), while Apple leads in game monetization.

And there are plenty of other studies too -- usually focusing on smartphones -- that show Android leading.

The success of apps on iOS, however, has been a strong suit for Apple, as a recent Piper Jaffray study, released in January, shows.

In the same report, though, Piper Jaffray argued that the quality of apps on the two platforms is now equalizing and that services will now be the key differentiator.

The initial release of Android was in September 2008. iOS made its debut in June 2007.

So, is Google, right? Maybe that's best left to readers to debate.

IDC/App Annie
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