Late last year, Google chairman Eric Schmidt announced that he firmly believed Android would overtake iOS as the first choice for mobile application developers within six months. But according to a new study conducted by IDC and Appcelerator, that’s not going to happen any time soon, as Android developers are slowly beginning to lose interest in the platform.The companies surveyed over 2,000 of the 280,000 developers on Appcelerator’s mobile development platform this year, and found that there has been “a steady erosion of interest” in Google’s Android operating system.
Interest in Android development for smartphone has dropped from 86% to just 78%, while interest in Android development for tablets has dropped from 75% to 67%. In comparison, interest in developing for Apple’s iOS operating system has remained stable.
Mike King, principal mobile strategist at Appcelerator, told The Register that “this slow erosion of Android is interesting, because if you go back to the beginning of last year, Android was not quite neck-and-neck [with iOS], but pretty darn close.”
Back then, the number of developers who said they were “very interested” in the Android platform was just 3% less that those who said they were interested in developing for iOS for iPhone, and 2% lower than those interested in developing for iOS for iPad.
King believes that this erosion is being caused by the fragmentation in the Android hardware ecosystem. “It’s really starting to ding Android,” King said. “And our developers have been, for the past year or so, very much a leading market indicator as to what happens to the different platforms.”
In comparison, “most iOS users are on the most recent version of the operating system,” King said, “and [there is] a very set number of devices and device classes.”
Because of all of those devices, developers have a hard time trying to ensure their apps work smoothly on all of them. This could be one of the reasons why some are turning away.
What do you think about these results?