“This report compares developer support for iOS versus Android and explores the underlying factors that could explain varying levels of developer loyalty. We use the data set collected by Flurry Analytics, now powering consumer insights for more than 70,000 companies across more than 185,000 mobile apps. Each day, Flurry tracks more than 1.2 billion anonymous, aggregated end user sessions across more than 100 million unique devices. Each month, Flurry tracks over 36 billion end user sessions across more than a 500 million devices, a number that is more than 60% of Facebook’s monthly active user base,” Peter Farago reports for Flurry.

“At Flurry, we track developer support across the platforms that compete for their commitment. When companies create new projects in Flurry Analytics, they download platform-specific SDKs for their apps. Since resources are limited, choices developers make to support a specific platform signal confidence, as they invest their R&D budget where they expect the greatest return,” Farago reports. “Further, because developers set up analytics several weeks before shipping their final apps, Flurry has a glimpse into the bets developers are making ahead of the market.”

Flurry New Project Starts, iOS vs. Android, Jan. 2011 - Mar. 2012

“The chart above shows that Apple continues to garner more support from developers. For every 10 apps that developers build, roughly 7 are for iOS. While Google made some gains in Q1 2012, edging up to over 30% for the first time in a year, we believe this is largely due to seasonality, as Apple traditionally experiences a spike in developer support leading up to the holiday season,” Farago reports. “Apple’s business has more observable seasonality.”

“Opposite to the efficiency Apple offers developers through their homogenous device base, Android fragmentation appears to be increasing, driving up complexity and cost for developers,” Farago reports. “Further, this fragmentation is concentrated primarily in just smartphones, as there is no serious Android tablet contender to the iPad. For Android, Flurry observes fragmentation along two significant vectors, devices and firmware.”

“the majority of devices in the market run Gingerbread, which is only the third newest iteration of the Android OS. Honeycomb, more optimized for tablets, and Ice Cream Sandwich, which put a lot of effort into the user interface, have a combined 11% of penetration in the market. Froyo, which shipped before Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich, alone has a higher share of firmware penetration than the two newer, more advance firmware versions combined,” Farago reports. “This means that the majority of consumers are running on an Android operating system that is three to four iterations old.”

“Running a comparison of revenue generated by top apps on both iOS and Android, Flurry calculates that the difference in revenue generated per active user is still 4 times greater on iOS than Android,” Farago reports. “For every $1.00 a developer earns on iOS, he can expect to earn about $0.24 on Android. These results mirror earlier findings from similar analysis Flurry conducted in Q4 of 2011 and Q1 of 2012.”

Flurry Developer Earnings, iOS vs. Android

Farago reports, “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. 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.”

Read more in the full article here.

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