By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
January 3, 2014

FORTUNE — When it comes to understanding the difference between Apple’s (AAPL) iOS and Google’s  (GOOG) Android, the long skinny picture attached below is worth at least 1,000 words.

It was produced for the Taiwanese manufacturer HTC and spotted last week by 9to5Google‘s David Beren.

We have no idea, of course, what’s going on within Apple to get an iOS upgrade ready. But as far as an iPhone or iPad user knows, it’s a straight shot from iTunes to their device

Which helps explain why 96% of iOS users are on iOS 7 or iOS 6.

Whereas per Google’s Dec. 2 distribution report, Android users are scattered among eight different versions: Froyo (1.6%), Gingerbread (24.1%), Honeycomb (0.1%), Ice Cream Sandwich (18.6%), Jelly Bean 4.1.x (37.4%), Jelly Bean 4.2.x (12.9%), Jelly Bean 4.3.x (4.2%) and KitKat (1.1%).

See Fragmentation blues: Google’s Android vs. Apple’s iOS.

Below: The full HTC graphic.

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