Apple iOS Still Charming More Developers Than Android - InformationWeek
10:08 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

Apple iOS Still Charming More Developers Than Android

More than twice as many new app projects target Apple's iOS over Android, new research says. Apple's iPhone is also winning over former Android users.

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Developers and consumers prefer iOS to Android, according to several new reports. Flurry Analytics says that more apps developed during the first quarter of the year were for iOS than Android. At the same time, data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners shows that a huge percentage of new iPhone buyers defected from Android smartphones.

Apple's WorldWide Developers Conference is mere days away, and Flurry dropped some interesting stats that show developers favor Apple's iOS platform. According to Flurry's data, 69% of new applications created in the first three months of 2012 were for iOS and 31% for Android.

Based on historical data, Android actually gained ground against iOS. In Q311, 75% of new apps were for iOS and 25% for Android, and in Q411, 73% of new apps were for iOS and 27% were for Android. Flurry attributes the downward trend in iOS to seasonality.

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The big reason iOS is more popular with developers? Apple's installed base of iPhones is largely homogenous--meaning that the screen size and resolution are identical and known. All iPhones have 3.5-inch displays and the same aspect ratio. At the same time, developers can target the Apple iPad, which is far and away the world's best-selling tablet computer. The two-for-one proposition offered by iOS apps is too hard for developers to pass up.

"Apple offers the most compelling 'build once, run anywhere' value proposition in the market today," said Flurry, "delivering maximum consumer reach to developers reach for minimal cost."

Last, iOS applications generate four times the amount of revenue than comparable Android apps. According to Flurry, developers who earn $1.00 from an iOS application earn only $0.24 from Android. "At the end of the day, developers run businesses, and businesses seek out markets where revenue opportunities are highest and the cost of building and distributing is lowest," concludes Flurry. "In short, Android delivers less gain and more pain than iOS, which we believe is the key reason 7 out of every 10 apps built in the new economy are for iOS instead of Android."

Developers aren't the only ones eying up iOS. Consumers are, too.

New data from the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners shows that 38% of consumers who purchased an iPhone in April were defectors from Google's Android or RIM's BlackBerry platform. That number was at 29% in February. Of all iPhone buyers in April, fully 42% were switching from another smartphone, which is up from 36% in February. One in four new iPhone buyers in April was either switching from a feature phone or buying their first mobile phone.

This data corroborates other analyses that show that the iPhone gained ground against Android during the first quarter of 2012. IDC suggested earlier this week that Android's growth will peak this year. While I don't think Google's Android platform is going to die off any time soon, it's interesting to see the resurgence in interest in iOS--especially ahead of Apple's big developer event, which kicks off June 11.

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User Rank: Ninja
6/9/2012 | 2:22:15 PM
re: Apple iOS Still Charming More Developers Than Android
Quantity is not the same as quality. So just because more projects are started does not mean that this is any better. In the end it comes down to how much more value is provided to end users.
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