iOS Superior to Android in Supporting Older Devices

iOS Superior to Android in Supporting Older Devices

Discussions about iOS and Android often boil down to their respective market shares, a straightforward metric for comparing these two tech giants.

However, market share only tells one part of the story. To truly gauge the robustness and appeal of each system, other factors must be considered, such as the support for operating system updates on older devices.

iOS Superior to Android in Supporting Older Devices

Here, iOS significantly outperforms Android.

A chart put together by Fidlee and demonstrates the extended support iOS offers to older iPhone models, a stark contrast to many Android devices that launch with outdated versions of the operating system.

It’s particularly alarming that some Android devices fall two major OS versions behind within just two years of their release. After three years, it’s common for Android devices to lag three or four major updates behind.

Conversely, iPhones like the iPhone 3GS, which debuted in June 2009, received all iOS updates up to iOS 7, released in the summer of 2013.

This ensures that iPhone users enjoy new iOS features and improvements for many years, offering a superior value proposition unmatched by Android.

Additional insights from Fidlee reveal:

Zero of the 16 devices were discontinued less than or equal to a year after release.

Six out of 16 devices never ran a current version of Android.

Four out of 16 devices stopped receiving updates less than a year after release.

None of the 12 devices received updates for two years after release (excluding the top four devices, which are scheduled to receive future updates).

All 15 devices (except the Nexus 4, which still has 11 months left for completion of two years from release date) were at least one major version behind within their two-year contract period.

13 out of 15 devices were at least two major versions behind within their two-year contract period.

Eight out of 16 devices were at least two major versions behind within one year of their contract period. The Galaxy Nexus was on the current version of Android for the longest duration of one year and 10 months.

The diversity of Android devices, while appealing to some, complicates the process of updating all users to the latest version of Android.


Daniel is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing years of experience and a deep love for all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail, Daniel covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to the newest features in macOS and watchOS. His insightful articles and reviews help readers stay informed and make the most of their Apple products. When he’s not writing, Daniel enjoys exploring new apps and tinkering with his MacBook Pro.