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Summary:

Both iOS and Android use is growing, but app developers are adopting Android at a faster rate, according to a recent GigaOM Pro survey. See our chart for more details.

Android iOS Battle

Apple’s iOS still dominates among app developers, but it may be losing its edge.  According to a recent GigaOM Pro survey (subscription required), both iOS and Android use is growing, but app developers are adopting Android at a faster rate. The web-based study surveyed 352 app developers on everything from who they are to where they sell their apps to how much money they make.

It asked them which platforms they currently use and which they plan to develop on next year. The growth in the percentage of developers using Android to create mobile apps is nearly twice that of iOS; and it’s four times as fast (on Android vs iOS) for tablet apps.

Rani Molla/GigaOM

  1. Can you share the detailed information about these 352 users by geography? If you talk with Silicon Valley starts-ups, you will know your article is not accurate in that android fragmentation made every company so frustrated.

    Web developers are NOT mobile developers, why do you only mention web developers? We know it’s hard for Java web developers to learn sophisticated Objective-C though.

    Again, your article is very misleading.

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    1. This was a study of app developers (web developers was written in error). Half of the app developers surveyed are from North America.

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      1. Thanks Rani. This is very helpful.

        Among those half of the North America app developers, can you draw the same conclusion?

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    2. It has nothing to do with program languages or fragmentation. It has everything to do with cold hard cash. Don’t worry, Apple is still #1 in the app game, and apps usually arrive there first, but as a developer trying to maximize income it is foolish to not include the majority of the market share.

      And on the topic of languages, who cares anyway? .NET is garbage and people will still make apps for Windows because of the popularity and the market share. IMHO HTML5 is the inevitable future for all platforms (whether that’s a good thing or not.)

      Come on people. They are just devices. Each platform has huge pros and coins for developers. Each comes with a certain headache. On Android, fragmentation is a real problem, but iOS gives developers less freedom and Objective-C is not as easy to work with as Java IMHO. Both have a great selection of apps and features. As a consumer who loves tech, I’m glad developers want to code for both platforms so I don’t have to worry about finding the same app on my iPod touch as my Nexus 7. We should encourage competition and different ideas.

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      1. iOS gives us way more freedom as it’s a great platform for sustainable innovation with real monetization mechanism.

        I will change my mind though if you can tell me 3 companies who built a real business upon Android platform. BUT i can tell you at least 10 companies who built a solid business on iOS including my favourite Instagram.

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      2. Well, the guy certainly inherited the light sabre passed on to him by late Ho’nble Jobs so either you accept whatever he says i..e “except iOS+Obj-C everthing else is piece of crap and that includes peanut butter” or just move on. Just look at his comment below. Next time, if you reply to his comment naming successful business, he will start like “but those businesses are not “successful” successful.

        John Gruber, MG Siegler and the elk don’t talk sense. They talk iLanguage. iPlatform is all they need to save this planet rest deserve to go down the dinosaur lane.

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    3. Is the point of your comment that in North America mobile apps are only developed in Silicon Valley? In support of your assertion that Silicon Valley developers do not do apps for Android, what is the percentage of North American developers are in Silicon Valley. Further, release your survey of Silicon Valley developers development stats. Would be useful, if those surveys included some of the same information included in the GigaOm survey.

      As a general observation, GigaOm is a decidedly Apple leaning web site. I would be “shocked” to find that a survey they initiated….was in any way biased against Apple.

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      1. @Kindroid – The survey of app developers sourced sample from a variety sources. The analysis was not, in my opinion, biased towards Apple in any way. You can read the report yourself at http://appdevelopersalliance.org/news/2012-09-27-GigaOMSurvey and I think you’ll find that to be the case.

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      2. Swype, PowerAmp, anything that relies on flash, live wallpapers are a big market, aftermarket launchers. iOS is great for developers, but it is gives them less freedom. This is just a fact. No side loading without jailbreak so you couldn’t install something not approved by Apple. No alternative app markets (The Amazon Appstore makes 89% as much revenue for developers as iTunes) Developers have to pay on iOS for the SDK. No alternate keyboards, customization options, no torrent clients or free music libraries. No filesystem support. I’m not attacking Apple. I’m simply saying that both systems are great for developing on and both platforms make money. Lots of money. Developing for both platforms is a win for the developers and a win for consumers.

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    4. >>It’s hard for Java web developers to learn *sophisticated Objective-C* though

      Yeah, right! You meant that polished, oiled, greasy smooth and Armani suited Obj-C, no? Or is it Versace?

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  2. It would be interesting to get the break down of enterprise versus commercial apps. My company plays in the Enterprise mobile market. We just launched a very successful product this year. It is either being deployed or tested in over 50% of the NA Fortune 100 companies. We followed with an Android version 3 month after the IOS one. As of today we have 1 enterprise customer testing it.

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  3. It should also be noted that since iOS has been more widely used, there’s less of a market expansion opportunity as many of today’s developers already use it. Anytime a platform is growing from a smaller user base, growth rates are likely to be higher.

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    1. Michael has a great point, I can’t agree more.

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  4. Dear Rani, it will be helpful to embed the following table into your article to reflect the trends.

    Table 13. IOS and Android development trends across regions

    Phone Tablet
    Current Planned Current Planned
    Asia-Pacific Android 42% 59% 50% 63%
    iOS 48% 75% 58% 71%
    North America Android 60% 68% 43% 59%
    iOS 72% 80% 76% 82%
    Western Europe Android 51% 61% 31% 44%
    iOS 71% 67% 69% 67%
    Source: GigaOM Pro

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    1. Wow in America the margin is even greater for android. I guess devs are realizing 60 percent of the market is better than 25 percent. Why wouldn’t they develop more for the top platform which is android. Android also is surpassing Apple in the tablet market now too for total market share and its just going to get worse for Apple year after year

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  5. Interesting.

    For more data points, you should check out the Baird Mobile Developer Survey. More developers, better questions. The just did a survey on where developers have been making money and where they are placing future bets. Watch for it to come out soon. Here is an article that talks about an earlier survey. http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2012/07/12/aapl-goog-dominate-baird-dev-survey/

    Most of my developer buddies report that their Android apps produce 10-15% of their iOS apps in terms of revenue. These are indie devs that make a living publishing apps.

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  6. All credits goes to Android Application Development Companies, because they provide us Custom android applications according to our requirements. Now most of -applications are available in android market also which are available for iOS.

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  7. Marvin Nakajima Thursday, October 11, 2012

    If I had to guess, the major factor this time round is the most stable Android OS to date (4.x) and the increase in the number of target Android tablets. I would not be surprised if most developers are (if they haven’t in the past) giving Android OS a try. 4.x is the OS that ties both the Smartphone and tablet platforms together.

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  8. Your analysis is missing out on a number of issues:

    1) It doesn’t say the type of apps the developers are focusing on. Given then 9:1 piracy ratio (copied vs bought) in a lot of cases there is evidence to suggest that there is more focus on free to play apps than chargeable/AAA titles.

    2) It fails to mention that the momentum in most cross platform app development starts with the iOS version then, when the app breaks even and into profit, they then port over to Android if there is a sound business case for it (see point 1). With more and more apps being created on iOS it then leads to…

    3) More Android versions of those iOS apps. Hence the growth rate growing faster than iOS.

    4) It fails to mention the double digit % reduction for the 2nd year running in Android developers ditching the platform (see point 1, again).

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