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Mobile Developers Embrace Android, iPad

The iPhone remains developers' favorite platform, but Android and iPad are the fastest-growing, "State of the Apps Industry" survey finds.
Top 20 Android Productivity Apps
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Slideshow: Top 20 Android Productivity Apps

Apple's iPhone remains the favorite platform of mobile app developers, but Android-based smartphones and the iPad are the fastest-growing targets, a survey released Friday shows.

Fully 30% of the several hundred developers and publishers polled in Millennial Media's annual "State of the Apps Industry" survey developed applications this year for the iPhone. Android phones and the iPad were second and third, at 23% and 21%, respectively.

The survey also asked developers and publishers which new application platforms they planned to support next year. “New” applies to those platforms developers are not targeting this year.

On that basis, Android led the pack, with 29% of respondents planning to add the operating system, with the iPad and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 tying for second, at 20% each. Research in Motion's BlackBerry OS was third at 12%, while the iPhone was fifth with 8%. The iPhone’s low number could reflect its current use by a majority of developers and publishers.

In general, the survey shows that developers and publishers are taking a multi-platform approach for their mobile applications. Many publishers are also expecting to see revenues increase significantly next year, with 31% of the respondents predicting increases of 100% or more year to year, 17% forecasting growth of more than 50%, and 6% expecting increases of more than 25%.

The mobile applications market is growing. A study released in March by wireless consultant Chetan Sharma and commissioned by online mobile app store Getjar found that the number of downloads worldwide would soar from more than 7 billion last year to nearly 50 billion by 2012. The study also found that smartphone applications in North America had the highest average selling price of $1.09, followed by Europe, where it’s less than 80 cents.

Among industries, entertainment wrote the most number of branded mobile applications this year, followed by technology, media, retail and consumer packaged goods, respectively.

The survey of 600 developers, publishers and advertiser was conducted in August. In producing the study, Millennial Media worked with Digiday, a digital media company, and financial services firm Stifel Nicolaus.

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