We recently discussed mobile developer's preference for Apple's iOS over Android
in the enterprise. However, outside of the enterprise this is a very different story. In other results from our Mobile Developer Survey
– the largest such survey to date
– the decline in developer interest in Android (we had noted over the preceding three quarters),
has been arrested.
Asked about their interest in developing mobile apps for Android handsets, the percentage of developers indicating they were "very interested" held stable in the second quarter of 2012, as compared to the first quarter. When it came to Android tablets, "very interested" levels actually ticked up by 2.9%.
Several factors contributed to the reversal in Android's fortunes:
- Huge growth in Android device shipments, especially handsets, in developing markets.
- More affordable price points as compared to iOS devices, including Amazon's Android-based Kindle Fire.
- Merging of aligned Google properties; Android Market into Google Play (similar to Apple's tightly integrated App Store and iTunes).
- High profile launches of Samsung Galaxy devices, Huawei, and Sony Ericsson smartphones, all Android powered.
These developments are beginning to outweigh the steadily increasing fragmentation of the Android ecosystem and monetization challenges.
iOS's lead among enterprise focused developers, nor Androids return to higher interest levels, should not deter enterprises and developers from builiding for both operating systems. As they develop apps for their customers and employees and plan future rollouts, a multi-operating system strategy will be required. It seems that both iOS and Android will retain significant market share (with Windows 8 poised to make inroads as well); companies should plan to develop native and mobile web apps for customers and employees on several platforms.
Download the Appcelerator Q2 2012 Mobile Developer Survey for more details about developer opinions and the future of mobile.