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iOS vs. Android market share: Which platform should you target first?

TL;DR: Many businesses have ‘build an app’ as a pressing business objective, and are ultimately faced with the question of which platform to target first (iOS or Android). This is a critical decision that can impact your app’s reach, performance, and profits. To make a decision, prioritize investing in research into your user base; iOS- and Android-specific requirements and barriers to entry; and the cost of developing an app for one platform over the other. Also consider the ideal option: delivering both iOS and Android versions of your app at the same time, but without duplicating efforts or costs (it is indeed possible).

In today’s fast-paced digital world, users have come to want and expect iOS and Android apps as part of their interactions with brands and businesses. It’s no wonder, then, that ‘build an app’ is a pressing business objective for a growing number of organizations across industries.

For them, among other considerations, the decision to develop a mobile app brings with it a particularly critical set of questions: Which should I build first: an Android app or iOS app? Or, should I develop both at the same time? 

Choosing to develop an app for one platform over another is a critical decision, as it can significantly impact your app’s reach, performance, and profitability. That’s why it’s important to consider a few important factors, including:

  1. The type of devices used by your target user base
  2. iOS and Android app store requirements
  3. The costs associated with developing an iOS app vs. an Android one

We’ll cover all of this below to help you choose which app type to develop first (and make a strong case for easily developing both at the same time, but without duplicating effort). 

Now, let’s look into the three factors that may affect your decision. 

1. Consider your user base.

Location is key

The market share of Android vs. iOS devices in your intended user base’s location should play an important role in your ‘which should I build first’ decision-making process. 

Ask: “Is my app intended to be offered globally, or locally?” And depending on the answer, dig deeper and ask, “Which device type is more popular in my business’ operating region?” 

For instance, Android has a global market share of 70.8% vs. 28.5% for iOS. For a global reach or focus on regions with an Android preference, developing for Android could ensure a wider audience. 

However, if your app targets users primarily in regions where iOS is more popular, it makes sense to prioritize iOS development. 

Let’s dive deeper into the regional market share stats for each device type and understand why identifying your target audience early on can help you decide between prioritizing Android vs. iOS.

The market share of Android and iOS devices by region

Understanding the market share of Android vs. iOS devices in the regions you’re targeting will help you further understand which to target first. Factors that affect the market share of mobile device type include things like the features of an app/device, the price, the product availability, and any geographically-specific regulatory restrictions that prohibit the sale of some devices.

So what does the data tell us about market share for iOS vs. Android by region? According to data published by statcounter and compiled in the below chart, the market share of iOS vs. Android mobile devices varies significantly by region.

Mobile operating system market share by region as of March 2024: iOS vs Android -
Mobile operating system market share by region

Countries like Japan, Canada, Norway, and the United States have an iOS market share of 60% and greater. Countries such as Indonesia, Peru, Argentina, Nigeria, Pakistan, and India have an Android market share of 85% and higher. 

To expand on Android’s popularity, in countries like Germany and France, Android has the lead in market share with 59.8% and 63.9% respectively. Meanwhile, the UK has a relatively equal split market share with iOS at 51.6% and Android at 47.8%

All this to say: Where you intend for your app to operate matters, so determine this well in advance. Then, mine the data and aim to first target the device type that has a broader market share — to increase your chances of success, user growth, and user retention.

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2. Do an app platform audit.

Whether you decide to build an Android app or an iOS app first, familiarizing yourself with the specific guidelines established by both Apple and Google is key.

Make sure you’ll be accepted by the app stores before you begin building. Will the app you’re going to build be in a regulated industry such as finance, healthcare, or gaming?  Both the Apple App Store and Google Play are increasingly restrictive, and you may be surprised by an app store rejection once you’ve submitted, based on the content of your app. That’s why it’s important to do due diligence and compare the guidelines for both app stores.

Ask a developer. Certainly, depending on the restrictions placed upon your app content by the app stores, your team of developers at this point can assist you in deciding which app store guidelines best align with your app — guaranteeing faster app store approval.

When deciding which platforms to build your app for, you must make sure that you are able to comply with the applicable app store guidelines — if still unsure, get in touch with the experts at

3. Consider the costs associated with developing an Android vs. an iOS app.

Budget is a critical consideration for any project, but it’s a particularly pressing one if you’re budgeting for developing an Android vs. an iOS app. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

When budgeting for your app, be aware that iOS developers typically charge a higher rate than Android developers. This disparity can be attributed to several factors, including the complexity of development, and the supply and demand for skilled developers that have expertise with each platform.

Additionally, consider the cost of maintaining and updating your app over time. There are developers that only deal with one aspect of the app development process, or who can be hired to develop but not maintain your app on an ongoing basis. Ensuring you have a plan for ongoing updates and maintenance is crucial, as your app will need to remain compliant with either Apple’s or Google’s never-ending app store requirements, and remain compatible with new device releases and device updates to ensure it is accessible and functional for all your users.

The easiest way to ensure your app remains updated — whether you’re building an iOS or Android app first — is to opt for an app development platform and services provider that assists with delivering your app, navigating the app store publishing process (which is almost equally complicated for iOS and Android apps), and remains hands-on to update your app over time without you having to worry about.

*Best choice* Develop an iOS and Android app at the same time, without duplicating effort or cost.

In an ideal world, you would not have to make such a difficult decision and would develop both Android and iOS versions of your app at the same time. 

The good news is you may not have to make a choice: innovative app development platforms and service providers like will deliver full-feature apps for iOS and Android at the same time, without duplicating effort or tripling cost — and will help ensure approval in both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Innovative app development platforms and service providers like offer cross-platform development services that allow for simultaneous development of both iOS and Android apps, with core functionality provided by existing website content.

This approach not only reduces development time and cost, but also leverages a single codebase, and further, streamlines ongoing maintenance and updates. is not only time- and cost-efficient, but it allows enterprise businesses to convert existing websites into full-feature apps for both iOS and Android. With its extensive catalog of native plugins to choose from, an app built using Median’s app studio can include full native app functionality such as a Native Media Player, In-App Purchases, push notifications, and more — enhancing your app’s overall user experience. 

Moreover, with expertise in navigating app store guidelines, offers a guarantee of successful app store approval.

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Screenshot of Fitbit iPhone app with Touch ID login prompt.


Deciding whether to build an iOS app, an Android app, or both at once, ultimately depends on several factors:

  • Target audience: Where is your primary user base located and are you aiming for global reach or targeting specific markets where one platform dominates?
  • Budget and resources: Do you have the means to invest in developing and maintaining two separate apps?
  • Approval guidelines: Can you meet the requirements of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store?

In essence, if resources allow, developing for both platforms is the ideal scenario, maximizing your app’s potential reach and engagement. 

However, when faced with constraints, prioritizing development based on your target market's preferences and your app’s unique value proposition becomes crucial. 

With solutions like, the decision doesn’t have to be one or the other — you can enjoy the benefits of both platforms with reduced costs and a streamlined development process, ensuring your app can reach as wide an audience as possible.

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Frequently asked questions

Which is better: iOS or Android?

In terms of app development, it really depends on your business goals, the target audience you’re expecting to reach, your overall development budget, and the app store approval guidelines. Conducting extensive research into the global market share of iOS vs. Android apps/devices can streamline your decision-making process. 

Incorporating an app development platform and service like can give you the best of both worlds — allowing you to develop an iOS and an Android app simultaneously — saving you time, money, and the extra effort required to choose between one.

iOS vs Android: What is the current market share of each?

Early 2024 shows Android with a worldwide market share of 71%. On the other hand, iPhones has a US market share of 61%. All that said, it's important to know that there are over 3 billion Android devices and over 1 billion iPhones currently being used.

What are the Apple App Store guidelines?

Apple has its own set of guidelines for iOS apps that developers need to follow. Learn more about Apple’s strict guidelines here.

What are the Google Play Store guidelines:

Just like Apple, Google too has its own set of rules that developers need to follow for building an app. Learn more about Google Play’s guidelines here.

Can I download iPhone apps on Android?

No. iPhone apps operate on the iOS operating system whereas Android apps operate on the Android operating system. Apps are built specifically for their respective platforms and an app built for one platform cannot run on the other.

How do I create an app for iOS and Android?

Using an app builder like, you can easily build an app for both iOS and Android platforms. Learn more on how to build an app for iOS and Android.

*DISCLAIMER: This content is provided solely for informational purposes. It is not exhaustive and may not be relevant for your requirements. While we have obtained and compiled this information from sources we believe to be reliable, we cannot and do not guarantee its accuracy. This content is not to be considered professional advice and does not form a professional relationship of any kind between you and LLC or its affiliates. is the industry-leading end-to-end solution for developing, publishing, and maintaining native mobile apps for iOS and Android powered by web content. When considering any technology vendor we recommend that you conduct detailed research and “read the fine print” before using their services.*
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