So far this year, Android stands out most to developers with close to 60 percent of them having recently developed for the Google (NSDQ: GOOG) operating system. What’s more, Apple’s iOS now follows as the second most popular platform.
The findings were produced by Vision Mobile on behalf of Telefonica (NYSE: TEF) Developer Communities and were released yesterday. More over, it shows the transition from incumbent platforms, such as Java and Symbian, to more recent entrants like Android and iPhone.
Interestingly, a developer’s interest does not always correlate with market share or sales, the report finds. For instance, Java Mobile Edition ranks third behind Android and iPhone despite it boasting an installed base of a three billion worldwide. Contrast that to the iOS platform, which has an install base of just over 60 million devices (not including iPods/iPads). Similarly, Symbian, which ranks fourth on the list in terms of developer interest, out-ships iPhone 4 to 1. Of course, this discrepancy can be explained fairly easily. Developers gravitate toward platforms that are easy to write code for and are easy to distribute applications on.
While iPhone has been considered the leader in that field, Android is obviously picking up steam — perhaps not for its elegance, but more its openness. It still struggles with basic billing issues (it mostly uses Google Checkout), but is not constrained by strict policies that Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) enforces.
The research is based on a survey of more than 400 developers globally, segmented into eight major platforms: iOS, Android, Symbian, BlackBerry, Java ME, Windows Phone, Flash Lite, and mobile web. The entire report can be downloaded here.
Here are the leading platforms that developers are saying they are using so far this year. Android is in the lead with Palm (NSDQ: PALM) OS bringing up the rear:
This chart illustrates the discrepancy between a device’s install base and the number of applications it has: