∞ Apple shines, Google loses steam for app developers

Apple’s iOS continues to be a bright spot among mobile app developers, while disappointing tablet sales and fragmentation are causing developers to pull away from Google.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]The latest report from market research firm IDC and Appcelerator shows that the majority of developers are confident about Apple and its mobile operating. According to the study, 91 percent of developers say they are “very interested” in iPhone development and 86 percent are very interested in developing for the iPad.

In comparison, interest in Android phones fell two points to 85 percent and Android tablets fell three points to 71 percent after increasing twelve points in Q1.

“Although technically within standard deviations, these drops stand in contrast to steadily increasing developer interest in Android over the last year and are consistent with an increase in developer frustration with Android,” wrote IDC in its report. “Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents said that device fragmentation in Android poses the biggest risk to Android, followed by weak initial traction in tablets (30%) and multiple Android app stores (28%).”

The news for Google’s Android partners is even worse. “While 71 percent of developers are very interested in Android as a tablet OS, only 52 percent are very interested in one of the leading Android tablet devices today, the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Further down the list, only 44 percent are very interested in the Motorola Xoom and 31 percent in the upcoming HTC Flyer. Smaller players (Acer, Archos, etc.) register minimal interest.”

Microsoft beat out RIM for third on the list. A total of 29 percent of developers showed interest in Microsoft, while 27 percent showed interest in RIM.

  • Wasn’t that survey of only users of Appcelerator products? How does that represent what’s really going on in general since that was 2700 users of their cross-platform products vs. 50,000+ developers for each platform who use other development environments? Don’t we need more data points to determine if a (quite) small drop is actually a trend or or just “noise” in the data measurement? Wasn’t there a problem with the interpretation of the last survey done by Appcelerator and IDG (was it last year)?

    These questions and more deserve our consideration. Mishandling of information is THE biggest problem we have today in the tech space and the media in general. Just consider the gigantic difference between the phrases “Apple is tracking our movements” and “Apple is caching a file of cell towers.”

  • We don’t care about Apple apps, only developers of fart apps and companies with no mean to sell their applications themselves need Apple AppStore, we want to run our apps in the browser and that’s why we want Flash and Java, the only reason Flash and Java is banned on iOS browser is to kick users out of the web into native apps Apple controls and tax at 30%. It has a name: racket.

    That’s it, enough of Apple’s lies, I’ve had it! Yesterday I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FTC in order to get a copy of Adobe’s complaint against Apple over Flash last year. Journalists and lawyers apparently want proof of bad intend regarding Apple’s war on Flash, I am convinced of Apple’s bad faith and believe those documents might contain proofs so let’s do this.

    More info and copy of my request on my blog: http://applesucks.squarespace.com/blog/apple-banned-me-from-forums-scared-of-adobe-flash-on-ipad-an.html

  • This data is actually far worse for Android than is obvious at first glance.

    This study is badly skewed toward Android developers and yet still shows them more interested in iOS development.

    In this study, IDC only polled customers of Appcelerator’s Titanium cross-platform development environment which is used in only 4% of iOS apps. As such, with “export as Android app” only a click or two away in this IDE, of course most Appcelerator devs will say they are interested or planning Android development in answer to IDC’s survey, so any drop in interest is particularly telling.

    In contrast, the vast majority of iOS developers use Apple’s native iOS-only Xcode environment instead and would need to completely redo their app in a different IDE to develop for Android so of course would have been far less interested or able if IDC had asked them.

    iOS developer income last year was $1.7 billion while Android developers only made a paltry $103 million (and iOS dev income grew 1,000% faster than Android in 2010) and the fact that 71% of total app downloads were to iOS devices and only 5% to Android devices illustrates that Android devs aren’t making more money on ad-supported free apps either.

    It is pretty obvious that developers who actually want to make any money gravitate to iOS first.


  • silencets

    I’m slightly surprised RIM still has that much interest within their platform with all the restrictions, such as notarized proof of identity, placed on their platform. I’m glad to see WiPh7 pick up as I would rather see them as the third leg of the OS triangle then RIM. I would prefer Palm’s WebOS as number 2, but I don’t expect them to crack the top 3, let alone unseat Android.

  • This is impossible! Android is open while iOS is closed. There is NO way that this is happening!