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Summary:

You know the saying, “If you build it, they will come”? Well that certainly holds true for GPS functionality and mobile phones. Nearly 48 percent of the mobile app developers surveyed by Boston-based Skyhook Wireless said that location is what “sets their app apart, or is […]

locationappdevelopers1You know the saying, “If you build it, they will come”? Well that certainly holds true for GPS functionality and mobile phones. Nearly 48 percent of the mobile app developers surveyed by Boston-based Skyhook Wireless said that location is what “sets their app apart, or is a core component to their app.” And nearly 46 percent said location increases the value of an app — and that they wouldn’t have developed an app without it.

When asked if they would re-write their applications for a platform other than the one they currently support, nearly 56 percent said yes. Google’s Android ranks highest in terms of interest — a whopping 58 percent of non-Android developers plan to port to that platform, while 40 percent of non-iPhone developers plan to port an app to the iPhone platform. In comparison, 26 percent will port to RIM and 20 percent to Windows Mobile. When it comes to the platforms of Palm and Nokia’s Symbian, however, those numbers drop to just 8 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

  1. Fascinating information, especially considering the number of S60-powered devices out there with a built-in GPS receiver. I wonder how this will change with the Ovi Store?

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  2. Too bad they provide no clues on who the 100 survey respondents were. Could have been the CS class at the local community college for all we know. I bet we would see more interest in Nokia outside the US…. or maybe anyone who should be developing for Nokia already is.

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  3. Location-aware apps are a small percentage of the market, so it’s not really a huge deal if those developers can’t develop for a given platform.

    Also, assuming that location-aware applications are not possible on handsets without GPS is a bit silly. In most cases, a simple ZIP code or City and State text field is plenty of information for an application to do what it needs to do.

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  4. In other news, my ice cream man did a survey that found that 98 percent of neighborhood children loved ice cream, and that they wouldn’t go outside on a summer day without it. (The other two percent were grounded because they had been naughty.)

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  5. More background on the survey respondents would be good. But just because it’s not entirely scientific doesn’t render the basic insight useless. Location means more targeted and relevant (and potentially timely) information of all kinds, which points to a significant opportunity for marketers, consumers and hence developers.

    Joseph Kingsbury, Text 100
    http://www.twitter.com/jkingsbury

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  6. Wonder how WebOS is going to fair..that will be a huge indication of how well the Pre competes with iPhone..good thing Apple is coming with new hardware..I need a better CPU in my “phone” or toy or whatever else you call this device..with a better keyboard I’d buy an apple touch netbook..I mean I did this caption on my iPhone..

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    1. Speaking of WebOS, does anybody know if apps written for the Pre version of WebKit will run in Safari?

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  7. I don’t blame developers for being leery of Palm. Palm screwed its Palm OS developers royally, beginning with its adoption of WinMo, and any serious businessperson would be foolish to forget that. Palm has suffered from bad management for an astonishingly long time – and WebOS doesn’t fundamentally change that fact. Still, I hope they succeed with it. I will definitely give it serious consideration – along with Blackberry, Nokia, Android and iPhone. However, if I had to bet on it, I’d pick Android as the likely winner in the long run.

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  8. the low numbers for Nokia reflect the market share for Nokia in the US…what’s the big surprise?

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  9. I get the feeling the survey was responded to by the actual developers and not the business managers. Technology folks will want to port to Android and iPhone. Business folks will want to deploy on Symbian, WinMob for recurring revenue as an established model, and to Android,iPhone in the possible hope that their respective appstores get them some recurring revenue (which is, till today, questionable as a sustainable business from the app developer perspective)

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  10. [...] the way, a recent study of location-based app developers by Skyhook Wireless (and covered here by GigaOm) shows that Google’s Android platform may actually be drawing more developer [...]

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