Developer economy: 72pc now developing for Android, iOS drops to 56pc in mindshare

23 Jan 2013

Mobile developers that do not develop for Android or iOS generate on average half of the revenue of those developers that do, a new report from Developer Economics reveals.

The Tools Report, which benchmarked developer mindshare, revenue and lead platforms, found that Android continues to lead mobile developer mindshare with 72pc of developers developing for the platform, up 4pc on 2012.

iOS showed a 5pc drop in mindshare to 56pc from 61pc last year.

However, iOS emerged as the highest priority platform, with 48pc of iOS developers using it as the lead platform among all others.

Lead platforms for mobile developers


iOS, Android and BlackBerry are the most often used as a main platform among their developers.

However, the considerable share of mobile developers that intend to adopt Windows Phone (47pc) and BB10 (15pc) indicates there is still developer interest in a viable third app ecosystem.

Advertising is now the most popular revenue model for apps, used by 38pc in a global sample of 3,400 targeted by Developer Economics.

The report reveals that HTML5 is becoming a viable alternative to native for developers working on app categories such as business and productivity (used by 42pc of HTML developers), enterprise (32pc) and media (28pc).

To compete with native, HTML5 needs better native API access (35pc of HTML developers), a better development environment (34pc) and better debugging support (22pc).

The report also revealed that tablet computers are reaching development mindshare parity with smartphones, while TV is still considered a niche.

The majority of the developers – 86pc – target smartphones, while a large share also develop on tablets, led by iOS developers (76pc) indicating the attractiveness of the iPad as a development and monetisation platform.

TV app development remains niche (6pc of Android developers) as the hype cycle around the smart TV experience is still at an early stage.

Mobile apps image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years