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 (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the new research shows that Symbian and Java ME, which dominated the developer mindshare pool until 2008, have been superceded by the Android and iPhone platforms- big surprise, I know.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.