Developers Still Prefer iOS, But With Caveats

Android may be mopping up market share, but iOS is still king for developers.

According to Appcelerator’s latest developer interest report, 89 per cent of the 2,837 developers surveyed were “very interested” in developing for the iPhone and another 86 per cent were interested in working on the iPad.

Some developers expressed worry of increased fragmentation on iOS with the introduction of retina screens, the iPad Mini, and the iPhone 5 (with its larger screen). Only 19 per cent of those surveyed thought Apple had done enough to combat fragmentation. However, it’s likely that Apple’s products will standardize around retina displays and larger phone screens, so these worries may be overblown.

Interest in Android held steady at 77 per cent, but was down from a peak of 87 per cent in the third quarter of 2011. Android has suffered from software and device fragmentation and the monetization gap with iOS. However, Android’s audience is simply too large for developers too ignore, especially given its dominance in certain markets.   

Interest in Windows Phone and Windows 8 tablets ticked up, but remains relatively low. Neither platform has achieved a critical mass of users yet and it would be premature to declare that Microsoft has emerged as the long-awaited third mobile platform.

As we’ve discussed, developer sentiment is crucial to understanding the mobile platform wars because developers, not end-users, create the real network effect in mobile— they build the popular apps that draw consumers to certain platforms.  

Developer Interest