Is Marshmallow playing catching up with iOS 9?

Google might have a greater market share when it comes to mobile operating systems, but it is behind Apple on some of the essentials, and it shows.

That is the opinion of Wall Street Journal’s Dan Gallagher, who reflected on the Google vs Apple, Android vs iOS battle, as Google prepares the launch of Android 6.0, named Marshmallow.

The Marshmallow is set to be released in the autumn, and a full-blown tool kit is available for developers.

Google might have a greater market share (Android accounted for about 83 per cent of smartphones sold in the second quarter according to IDC, where Apple’s iOS had about 14 per cent share in the period), but the majority of that share goes on older versions of Android:

“Barely 18 per cent of current Android devices are using the most-current version of the software, launched last year. Nearly three-quarters of Android’s user base are on the KitKat and Jelly Bean versions launched two and three years ago, respectively,” he says.

And that’s where the problem lies for Android.

“By contrast, 86 per cent of iOS users are on the most current version of the software. That has helped Apple build up a lucrative content ecosystem that is expected to generate nearly $20 billion in revenue this year.”

“Apple also paid out more than $10 billion to developers last year compared with Google’s $7 billion, another indication that market share isn’t everything. Looked at that way, Android hasn’t taken over the world.”

That’s why he feels Marshmallow’s actual task is to catch up with Apple, even though Android dominates the market.