Report: Android apps are more stable than Apple’s iOS apps
FORTUNE — Quentin Hardy may be forgiven for looking at the attached charts and seeing what he expected to see.
Summarizing a new report on the failure rate of mobile apps, he wrote in Friday’s
New York Times
that apps running on Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system crash more frequently than apps running on Apple’s (AAPL) iOS.
“iOS 7.1 has the fewest crashes,” he adds, “most likely thanks in part to the way Apple controls what apps go into its store.”
That may be what Hardy expected to see. But that’s not what the data show.
The report, Mobile Experience Benchmark, was issued Thursday by Crittercism, a San Francisco-based performance analytics firm that tracked a billion users for a month, monitoring more than 3 billion unspecified “events” per day.
The results showed, as Hardy reported, that the newest version of Apple’s iOS — 7.1 — had an app-crash frequency of 1.6%, better than any previous version of iOS and hair better than Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” (1.7%).
But Gingerbread is more than four years old. Newer Android releases — KitKat, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean — crash roughly half as frequently (0.7%) as Apple’s newest version. They are even more stable than iOS 7.0 (2.1%) and iOS 6.0 (2.5%).
The report also found that Samsung’s smartphones and tablets crash less frequently than Apple’s iPhones and iPads, right across the board. That’s not yet reflected in the customer satisfaction ratings. In J.D. Power’s Oct. 2013 report, iPhones scored better at AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ), and Samsung’s devices did better at Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS).
Crittercism’s start-up was funded in part by Google Ventures, which might raise some eyebrows. But it issued a similar report two years ago with similar findings that got a lot of press and no comment from Apple. If there was a fatal flaw in the methodology, nobody seems to have found it.