Mobile App Developers Give Apple iOS Wide Lead over Android
Less than a year ago, our Mobile Developer Survey found developers evenly split as to whether Apple's iOS or Google's Android would win in the enterprise. But our survey results in the second quarter of 2012, the largest such survey to date, were surprisingly different: iOS now leads Android by a substantial margin of 53.2% to 37.3%.
Several factors help explain this striking change in developers' expectations.
First, there's the growing strength of iOS in the enterprise, which is not accidental. Not surprisingly, the massive popularity of the iPad (which outsells all Android tablets 3 to 1) has given Apple a boost in the business app space. But the company has made a concerted effort as well. Once known primarily as a maker of machines for consumers and schools, Apple has focused heavily on the enterprise of late: with its website focused on marketing to enterprises and case studies to support those efforts. Let's not forget to mention the enterprise-oriented sales reps and how-to staff focusing on iPhones and iPads for business in each Apple Store (they are the reps wearing black polo shirts).
Conversely, the case for Android has suffered from frequent reports of malware and from widespread Android fragmentation. In addition, Android support for mobile device management (MDM) has been very spotty, resulting in bad publicity for the platform and very low adoption among enterprises.
Nonetheless, iOS and Android are both likely to retain significant market share (with Windows 8 poised to make inroads as well, according to developers who participated in the survey). Despite Apple's significant lead in terms of developers' expectations, the wisdom of choosing iOS exclusively seems doubtful at present; companies should be marshaling resources to develop native apps on multiple platforms.
To learn more insights from mobile app developers, download the full Q2 Mobile Developer report.