BlackBerry development may be on steep decline, but the platform still remains a profitable one for the developers that have stuck with it. According to a new study from mobile analytics firm VisionMobile, the average monthly revenue from a BlackBerry app is $3,853, compared to $3,693 for iOS and $2,735 for Android.
Those figures are for the lower 95 percent of apps available in the market that have some kind of revenue model. In order to paint a more accurate picture of what a typical developer makes, VisionMobile lopped off the top 5 percent since those blockbuster apps would greatly skew the results.
But even among the ranks of uncelebrated developers, there’s still a lot of variation in revenues. VisionMobile estimates that more than half of all BlackBerry developers make less than $500 a month on their individual apps, compared to 34.7 percent of iOS developers — you make less money by developing for the iPhone but there’s a better chance you’ll at least make some.
Another point in BlackBerry’s favor is the relatively low cost of developing for the platform. The typical BlackBerry app costs $15,181 to bring to market, compared to an average of $27,463 in iOS and $22,637 in Android development costs, the study found.
None of those advantages, though, seem to matter that much to developers, who all seem to be jumping from what they view as a sinking ship. Of cross-platform developers currently support BlackBerry, 41 percent plan to give RIM the heave ho, according to Vision’s surveys. What’s worse, 14% of devs that code primarily for BlackBerry are now looking for an alternative platform.
RIM may be bad off, but at least it can point to others that are faring far worse. The biggest exodus of developers, 60 percent, is coming from Qualcomm’s BREW platform, reflecting the large-scale shift away from feature phones to smartphones. Symbian, which Nokia is retiring, and WebOS, which HP has basically tossed back into the market, are witnessing more than half of their developers depart. Samsung’s Bada, Flash and MeeGo are all in steep decline, as well.
Where are all these developers going? According to Vision, they’re heading straight to Microsoft. Windows Phone was the top new destination for developers with 57 percent saying they would adopt the platform this year.