Photo: All Things D
Android is taking over the world one phone at a time, but some developers are not happy with the way the platform is splitting apart into multiple phones and app stores. That could spell good news for Apple and newer competitors — like Microsoft — who could draw unhappy developers to build more apps for their platforms instead.
Baird Research surveyed 250 mobile developers, and the results were picked up by Fortune‘s Apple columnist, Philip Elmer-DeWitt.
Baird found that 71% are writing apps for Android, versus only 62% for Apple’s iOS.
But they’re not necessarily happy about it. Of those Android developers, a startling 56% said that platform fragmentation is a “huge” or “meaningful” problem. Only 14% called it no problem at all.
This matches what we’ve heard in our conversations with Android developers. They worry that the apps they write today won’t work on future versions of Android, especially if companies take it and modify it for their own devices.
They also worry about visibility in the Android Market, as the Baird report says. While they welcome competition from Amazon and others, they don’t want a situation where they have to push their app to three or 15 or 50 separate app stores.
Google knows this — that’s why it cracked down on Android partnerships and code last week. Some partners yelled, but stopping fragmentation is better for the platform in the long run — even if it shows Google’s “open” rhetoric to be self-serving.