A developer took it upon himself to create a handy chart with all of Apple’s iOS devices, their key hardware characteristics and iOS software builds running. Even a brief glance reveals very little fragmentation as approximately 70 percent of all iOS devices in the wild are shown running iOS 5, the latest public version of Apple’s mobile operating system.

The upcoming iOS 6 is already on five percent of devices in the wild and iOS 4 is still found on approximately ten percent of devices. On the hardware front, both the third-generation iPod touch/iPhone and newer plus all iPad models run on the ARMv7 application processor.

This makes software optimization much easier than on the Android platform, where a variety of form factors, hardware configurations and device models contribute to high fragmentation….

The chart below is the work of app developer Empirical Magic.

Labeled Autumn 2012 Edition, it compiles everything you need to know about Apple’s mobile devices in respect to iOS version installed and application processor/display utilized.

Device support data and release dates are pulled from Wikipedia. Usage stats are approximated from data obtained from three different sources. That said, you’re advised to take this chart with a pinch of salt.

Click for Retina version.

An ultra high-resolution JPG and PDF is also available.

As pointed out by The Loop‘s Jim Dalrymple, the chart has en error in that it depicts a non-existent 8GB third-gen iPod Touch. He warned that “when the third generation iPod touches were released (in 32 and 64 gb models), the 2nd gen 8gb touch was sold alongside them”.

Just for reference, here’s Android fragmentation heatmap depicting more than 400 devices developers have to deal with.

It gives fragmentation a whole new meaning, if you ask me. And here are the devices Android developers typically have to cope with in order to test their warez against.

Quite a difference compared to clean iOS product mix, no?

One of Apple’s major advantages that keeps developers glued to the platform is minimal fragmentation in respect to devices, iOS versions and screen resolutions.

It’s fair to say that the iOS ecosystem remains consistent and not marred with insane fragmentation seen in Android landscape.

A bunch of horror stories often times tell the same thing, one where programmers simply cannot justify spending resources on perfecting their apps for a myriad of devices.

As a result, they settle on the least common denominator to produce apps which may not be what you’re accustomed to call pretty, but they do run on a wide selection of hardware.

What do you think of the iOS device/software mix so far?

  • GambitGamer


    • AmazingBJW

      Good for you.

  • There is a mistake in the matriz, iPhone 4 DOES have a retina display

    • I noticed that, too.

      • Abe

        no dude, they sold you something claimin that it was retina display, the real retina display comes with an A5 dual core chip

  • abujafer

    The thing people don’t realize is, that “lowest common denominator” is around iPhone 4 level, with some iPhone 3GS-level phones bleeding in. Even the lowest of the low end Android is equal to 3rd gen iOS devices. Even so, if you want to make a game like Shadowgun or even something as simple as a new Angry Birds, fragmentation is a nightmare.

  • WTF?
    ipod touch 4G supports iOS 6
    iPhone 4 has retina display
    ipod touch 4G has retina display also

    this matrix has some errors…

    • Daniel Levi

      the ipod touch 4g IS compatible with iOS 6,iphone 4 and ipod touch 4g does have a retina display as well. bitch please

    • The only error I see is that it doesn’t say the iPhone 4 has a retina display, everything else seems fine.

  • Ipod touch dont has a retina display but iphone 4 has one !

    • there is this magical feature called the edit button………

  • “Click for Retina version.”?! Seriously?

    • it actually is in retina resolution

      • M.

        Do you think they can make this screen Dell U3011 ready? ;—P

  • Matt

    And how many of the features of IOS 5 or 6 will be missing from the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 3GS or even the iPhone 4s. So while phones might be on a given release of IOS, that does not mean that they support or get all the features, and not because the hardware can not support it, just because Apple wants you to buy new phones, can anyone say, SIRI?

  • Geeks on Hugs

    Fragmentation means choice for the consumer. The problems are somewhat overblown. If it meets the Android device spec (nook and fire don’t for example) then by and large your code will run. Most all devices meet the standard – youll know if it ships with Google apps, most notably the play store. The developer sets up required hardware in the Application manifest and the Play store filters on that.

    My main point is fragmentation isn’t a huge or insurmountable problem and in fact demonstrates the diverse options for Android. And as market share data has demonstrated that freedom of choice won the open market. In Q2 of this year not only does Android dominate in handset market share as a platform, but a single manufacturer alone beat Apple. That player was Samsung. If I was into iOS I wouldn’t be upset at that. If anything it makes it more exclusive to be into iOS. How boring would it be if everyone had an iPhone?

    (Edit: as someone mentioned the exception would be people who make large use of the NDK like game manufacturers who do have a significant fragmentation challenge.. I was referring to mainline apps built with the SDK alone.)