Android Now Most Popular With Developers, iPhone #2, Symbian & Java ME Losing Fast

Vision Mobile in conjunction with Telefonica Developer Communities recently published the results of a developer survey entitled “Mobile Developer Economics 2010 and Beyond,” in which more than 400 developers globally were surveyed to analyze mindshare and overall sentiment for the various mobile platforms. The results of the survey were segmented into 8 major platforms: iOS …   Read More

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Vision Mobile in conjunction with Telefonica Developer Communities recently published the results of a developer survey entitled “Mobile Developer Economics 2010 and Beyond,” in which more than 400 developers globally were surveyed to analyze mindshare and overall sentiment for the various mobile platforms.

The results of the survey were segmented into 8 major platforms: iOS (iPhone), Android, Symbian, BlackBerry, Java ME, Windows Phone, Flash Lite, and the mobile Web.  In terms of developer mindshare, the new research shows that Symbian and Java ME, which dominated the developer mindshare pool until 2008, have been superceded by the Android and iPhone platforms- big surprise, I know.

Despite Symbian remaining in the pole position in terms of smartphone market penetration, ‘out-shipping’ iPhone 4 to 1 and Android many-times to 1, the signs of dissatisfaction with the way the Symbian platform has evolved have long been evident.  The ecosystem evolving around the Android platform will likely make it the new Symbian in terms of reach and developer share very soon.  The iPhone, despite its enormous reach and prolific development community, will always be hindered by its closed-off nature in my opinion.

Android stands out as the top platform according to developer experience, with close to 60 percent of developers having recently developed on Android, assuming an equal number of developers with experience on each of eight major platforms.  iOS follows closely as the next most popular platform, outranking both Symbian and Java ME, which until 2008 were in pole position.

“In the last two years, a mindshare migration has taken place for mobile developers away from the incumbent platforms Symbian, Java ME and Windows Phone, while a substantial number of PC software developers have flocked to iPhone and Android,” the report suggests.  “The large minority (20-25 percent) of Symbian respondents who sell their apps via iPhone and Android app stores reveals the brain-drain that is taking place towards these newer platforms.  The vast majority of Java ME respondents have lost faith in the write-once-run-anywhere vision.”

The report itself provides much more information and supporting data- head on over and pick up a copy for yourself.

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3 comments

  1. @jay_eckert

    There is one minor (ok… it's actually REALLY BIG) problem with this "study" the test group was way too small. 400 developers worldwide? According to AppStoreHQ (which is a complete listing of current devs for both Android and iOS) there are 43,185 iOS developers, 10,199 Android developers, and of those numbers, 1,412 are cross platform developers. So I am sorry to say, that asking .75% (yes that is point seven, five percent) of the potential developers on those two platforms alone is far from a reliable study.
    I do agree however that Apple is too closed of a market place. If it were more open, the platform would improve by leaps and bounds, as opposed to drips and drabs.

  2. JustinMMW

    Absolutely. If Apple were to loosen up a bit, they could undoubtedly win the favor of developers over Android. The only other caveat being that iOS will always only be on a limited number of devices, while Android will continue to multiply exponentially — and therefore provide a larger platform for developers to spread their wares. Combining Android's open nature, with Apple's approval policy that maintains "quality" in the app store would be a winning combination. From a user-standpoint, Android suffers from a lack of approval standards, in my opinion, that allows a lot of noise to enter the Android Market….

  3. Eydie

    iPhone still seems to be the platform developers, and companies who want to create a branded app, prefer. There's a cachet of having an Apple app, since the general consumer population is very familiar with the Apple brand but may not know what it means for a phone to be an Android, Symbian, etc. (they do know Windows, but it's not a positive reputation these days). But as you said, Apple loses points for being so closed and tightly controlled. If somehow Steve Jobs were to slacken the reigns, do you think it could beat the open Android? Because other than brand recognition, Android offers the same benefits as iOS–ease of use, app store, being on great hardware.

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