Google’s Android operating system (OS) continues to grow, but for some reason the application developers out there don’t seem to be getting that excited about it, and are choosing to remain faithful to the iOS platform.
Mobile advertising company Millennial Media has released its latest Mobile Mix report for May, and while the Android OS appears to have reached a 15 percent market share as gauged by advertising requests, it doesn’t appear that developers are following a similar trend. (click the image for a larger view)
While Apple still controls the market share is still in the lead, it is falling. (And just to be clear, that doesn’t mean iPhone sales are dropping, it just means as the total number of users out there grows, they are choosing other platforms, it is not an indication of sales per se) As the next chart shows, developers are staying platform agnostic for the most part. (click the image for a larger view)
It seems odd with the mobile application landscape in such flux right now that only ten percent of developers are working with multiple platforms. While there is something to be said for honing your skills on just one platform, it seems odd with the numbers changing as they are that they would put all of their eggs in one proverbial basket.
According to PocketGamer, this is worrying Microsoft about future support for its upcoming Windows Mobile 7 OS. Reportedly the company is offering upfront payments to iOS developers to port their apps over to the new system so that they can hit the ground running, but due to differences in the frameworks used, the developers aren’t jumping at the offer.
The other potential issue I see is that despite how crowded the Apple App Store has become, it is still a lot easier for people to browse than the Android Marketplace. Being an Android user myself, I know I don’t spend any more time in the Marketplace than I have to. The lack of a computer interface like the iTunes one really hurts the shopping experience, and that may lead to lower sales, and in turn less interest in building for it.
It is clear that apps are what make or break a phone at this point, but the numbers aren’t lining up with one another. Is the iOS really that much easier to develop for? One has to wonder.
What say you? Why are the developer/phone percentages not aligning?