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Which Mobile Platform(s) Should I Target?

Updated for 2018.

Last time, we left you to ponder whether a mobile app is right for your business. You listened to us, pondered, and have now concluded a mobile app is definitely in your future. So, what’s next? Should you focus on one mobile platform? Several? How should tablets weigh in your decision? 

First, let’s look at the most recent market share figures for smartphones.

U.S. Smartphone OS Market Share Figures – Q3 2018 (via Device Atlas)

Platform

Smartphone Share

iOS (iPhone)

64.69%

Android

35.05%

Other

.26%

In the U.S., iPhones hold the top market share by a large margin. And together, iOS and Android make up 99.74% of smartphone operating systems, having beat out Windows Phones and most other attempts to infiltrate the market.

Tablet numbers look similar, with an even larger lead for iOS. The iPad is still dominating the market, with the Windows Surface tablet trying to make a play for Windows.

U.S. Tablet OS Market Share Figures – Q3 2018 (via Stat Counter)

Platform

Tablet Share

iOS

75.49%

Android

24.21%

Other

.3%

There you have the numbers. Now, here’s what we think they suggest: 

  1. If you’ve made the decision that a mobile app is worth the investment, then it’s probably also worth it to dive in with both Android and iOS apps. New technologies, like Xamarin, allow us to streamline development on two different operating systems.
  2. Pay attention to general market trends, but learn as much as you can about your own customers.  Yes, it’s important to maintain a grasp on the overall marketplace. But it’s even more important to understand your customer’s mobile behavior. Understanding the specifics for your current and prospective customers is hands-down the best way to prioritize strategy.
  3. If you’re developing a business system for your team, use what they use. If your custom software project is focused on your team members as the users, build what they need. This could be a responsive web app that works on any device. Or, if your team uses iPads in the field, it could be an iOS app.

The key takeaways here are to go beyond the general market statistics to understand what your target users really want and need.

Next time, we’ll give you an inside look at the apps Far Reach team members use to stay on top of their busy work lives. In the meantime, where do you plan to start with your mobile app development? We’d love to hear about your plans or any research you’ve conducted with your own customers.  

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