Apple’s iOS widens lead in app developer survey; Android sees waning interest due to fragmentation

Appcelerator and International Data Corporation (IDC) today announced results from a new joint survey of 2,173 Appcelerator developers around the world. Findings reveal that Google’s Android – once neck-and-neck with Apple’s iOS – is seeing waning interest due to continued fragmentation of the platform.

The mobile app space to date has been dominated by native apps. However in 2012, HTML5 will move to center stage with both pure mobile browser apps and “hybrid apps,” which integrate both native code and substantial amounts of HTML5.

While Android has seen enormous growth in shipments and remains a solid #2, fragmentation continues to take its toll.

Below are a sample of findings from this quarter’s report:
• iOS continues to reign at number one in developer interest levels. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of respondents say they are very interested in developing for the iPhone, followed by the iPad at 88%.
• Android phones and tablets are showing slow erosion of interest levels. This quarter, interest in Android phones dropped 4.7% points to 78.6%, and Android tablets dropped 2.2% points to 65.9% from the previous survey. Although close to or within the margins of error, these drops are consistent with the trend of small but steady erosion in Android interest over the last four quarters.
• Windows Phone 7 interest remains high. WP7 is the clear “number three” OS in terms of priorities, after Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. The huge jump in interest in Q4 2011 is holding steady notwithstanding somewhat disappointing WP7 device sales to date.
• This quarter saw another sharp drop in developer interest in BlackBerry OS. Developer interest declined from 20.7% in Q4 2011 to 15.5% in Q1 2012, set against negative news around RIM’s challenges.
• HTML5 becomes important to many mobile developer strategies. A resounding 79% of mobile developers report that they will integrate HTML5 in their apps in 2012. This is much higher than many industry observers had anticipated as late as Q4 2011.
• Mobile app development continues to accelerate in 2012. More than half (53.5%) of respondents report that they are now focused on accelerating their mobile strategies compared to 27.4% in 2010, and 16.9% of respondents report that they will be focused on Innovating their mobile apps in 2012 compared to 9.2% in 2010.

Location and notifications are the top two cloud services developers plan to use to help scale. Location and notifications are the top two services that developers plan to integrate into their applications to help scale up their mobile initiatives in 2012.

A complete breakdown of these trends and a more detailed analysis is available online:

Source: Appcelerator Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Fragmandroid.


    1. you beat me to it. When I read that, the thought of which Android tablet came to mind. It was also surprising that over 15% still have interest in developing for RIM Blackberry!

      1. The BlackBerry interest is purely for the (still large) installed base.

        And I think Android interest is that high because this sample is based on developers usung Apcellerator. Since it’s a cross-platform development tool, I would expect its users to be especially interested in developing for other platforms in addition to iOS.

        My guess is that developers not using Apcellerator are much less likely to be interested in developing for secondary platforms.

  1. As an app developer I was able to address all other platforms, other than IOS, with a cloud version optimized for smaller screen real estate…,others are not do lucky…developing for Android OS s losing proposition… Huge development costs due to the fragmentation with
    Small return make Android a loser of your goal is to make a profit.

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