Mobile software developers are interested in the new kids on the mobile block — HTML5 and Windows Phone — but very few are actually turning that interest into product plans, according to the latest survey published by IDC and app tools maker Appcelerator.
Nearly 80 percent of the app developers surveyed said they planned to incorporate HTML5 code into their mobile apps during 2012, but just 6 percent said they were comfortable with building pure HTML5-apps. The majority want to take a hybrid approach, mixing HTML5 code into their apps in certain places but relying on native code written for iOS, Android, or other mobile operating systems to get the heavy lifting done, said Mike King, principal mobile strategist at Appcelerator.
The 2,173 developers surveyed in late January also reported increased interest in Windows Phone 7, but unfortunately for Microsoft and Nokia, they aren’t crazy about the Lumia. While 37 percent of developers said they are interested in developing Windows Phone 7 apps, only 18 percent said they were interested in the Lumia devices.
King theorized that while the initial Lumia devices didn’t really change anything for mobile developers, the Lumia 900 announced at CES may have sparked more interest in the platform itself. It’s almost as if they’re saying “we’re more excited about the idea of Microsoft and Nokia than that particular device,” King said. Thirty-eight percent of respondents live in Europe, compared to 34 percent from North America and 28 percent from the rest of the world.
For the most part, however, not much has changed when it comes to mobile development priorities over the last three months. iOS remains the must-have operating system, with 89 percent of respondents planning iPhone apps and 88 percent planning iPad apps.
Android phone apps are on the radar for 79 percent of respondents, and despite the lack of volume, 66 percent are planning Android tablet apps and 51 percent are planning tablet apps for Ice Cream Sandwich, the first version of Android that unites the smartphone and tablet versions, also known as Android 4.0. But interest in Android apps fell slightly from the fourth quarter to the first, suggesting that despite Android’s big market share lead, the hassles of developing for the platform may be turning off some developers.
Interest in the BlackBerry continues to plunge. Only 16 percent of respondents are planning BlackBerry apps, down from 20 percent in the fourth quarter.