The Android-Apple App Markets: Here's What Happens Next

developer interest

Photo: IDC

Apple just reached its 10 billionth app download over the weekend, and yet, the app world is still in its nascent stages.Developers are just starting to move past the “exploration” phase of mobile apps, and are now moving into the “acceleration” phase, according to data from IDC.

IDC surveyed 2,235 developers about their mobile app strategies to find out what’s next.

A few takeaways:

  • Expect more iPad apps this year. Developers are just as interested in the iPad as Android.
  • Developers will continue to focus on Android, at the detriment of all but Apple. Interest in Android tablets is stronger than HP or RIM tablets, and almost as strong as the iPad.
  • Developers think Android tablets need to be cheap, rather than have a great OS if they’re going to succeed.
  • RIM, Microsoft, and HP-Palm have a lot to do to gain developer mind share.

We’ve pulled out the crucial charts, and added a few of our own comments.

The emergence of tablets is the biggest shakeup for developers in 2011. They're most excited about the iPad, but Android tablets aren't far behind.

Last year most respondents said they were just exploring the app world, this year they're accelerating development.

Amazingly, developers are just as interested in the iPad as they are in Android.

IDC says that Android is best for getting more customers, while the iPad is good for adding a second, more finishing layer to your mobile app strategy. It 'enhances the experience,' says IDC.

This is a funky chart, but you can see how developers got excited once they actually saw the iPad. You can also see that the rest of the platforms are just not exciting for developers.

Developers are most excited about a camera being added to the iPad.

Google and Apple have struggled to ship significant volumes of their Internet connected TV boxes. As a result, developer interest has fallen.

Amazon has turned heads with its plan to do an Android app store.

Interest in the Mac App Store is equal to the Amazon Android store, but it's still pretty small compared to other Apple App Stores.

Developers are preparing to make more apps on more devices this year.

And you can see how their business models are changing ...

As the app becomes more important, more businesses are choosing to keep their development in house, where they have control.

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