Apple's Distracting iPad Could Choke Google Android Development

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Apple’s new iPad could have a beneficial effect on Apple’s mobile war with Google: It could delay or diminish some iPhone developers’ interest in making apps for Google’s Android platform.

As Apple’s iPhone platform matures, many developers have considered expanding their apps to Android, which is experiencing a growth spurt these days. Indeed, Android added more than 9,000 new apps in March — very impressive.

But for some of those developers, Apple’s iPad has provided a distraction. If this distraction continues — and if the iPad becomes a hugely successful platform — it could keep those developers focused on Apple’s products, and could cause some of them to postpone or reduce their plans to make Android apps.

For example, we spoke to a successful iPhone game developer yesterday, who has considered porting his games to Android for several months. But so far, he has released nothing for Google’s platform.

Yet his company rushed an iPad app for launch day, and has already had some success with it. The number of downloads so far is too small to share, he says, but he’s hopeful for the platform.

So why iPad and not Android?

He explains: His broad goal for a new platform is to get a million users in a year. That’s probably possible with Android, but he’d have to rewrite his apps from scratch. It now looks like it’ll be possible to get a million users in a year with the iPad. And he can use much of the code from his iPhone apps to get there faster and more efficiently. (Not to mention the fact that Android still offers a lousy commerce experience compared to Apple’s.)

Obviously this is just one company and doesn’t speak for the whole market. There are some types of companies that will want to be on every mobile platform, or can simply afford to be on every platform. Maybe if the iPad doesn’t choke Android development, it chokes Palm and Microsoft harder. And Google will surely have a tablet response of its own at some point.

But as Social Gaming Network’s CEO told the WSJ last month, when it touched on this subject, not everyone has bandwidth to make apps for every platform. And right now, Apple’s winning his time.

Social Gaming Network Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif., developer that sells a bowling game through Apple’s App Store, said 90% of its developers are currently working on apps for Apple. Though companies like Research in Motion Ltd., Palm Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Nokia Corp. have also asked SGN to make games for their app stores, the developer said it doesn’t have the resources to support all of them.

“You have to choose your battles wisely,” says SGN Chief Executive Shervin Pishewar. The iPad has given him ideas for new kinds of game apps like a multi-player board game, he adds.

Don’t miss: 10 Things We Love And Hate About The iPad →

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