If you’ve been following mobile news for any period of time, you’ve probably comes across the name “Gene Munster” at some point. An analyst for Piper Jaffray who’s been quoted numerous times for his forecasts/predictions and trend analysis, particularly in the iOS arena, he has some interesting stats to share.
Munster was at Apple‘s Worldwide Developers Conference, along with developers from across the globe, so he took advantage of the opportunity by hitting up a few for a poll. He’s been doing this for a few years now, but unlike the 20 respondents he got at WWDC 2008, he scored more than twice that this time around, at 45 people. He compared the two findings and issued the result to clients today.
There are some striking things to note here. First, there are a lot of NA (not applicable) responses in the 2008 column. Makes sense, considering many of these didn’t exist three years ago (like Android, webOS and the App Store). Today, there seems to be a decent chunk of respondents who develop for multiple platforms, notably for Android (47 percent) and Blackberry (36 percent). And yet, when asked which platform has the highest potential for future growth, no one chose Blackberry, even though more than a third of them are developing for it.
The group was also asked, “Which platform has the highest potential for future growth?” Oh, Munster, you rascal — that’s a stilted question, isn’t it? After all, the poll was conducted at an Apple conference, so it should surprise no one that all the respondents chose iOS.
What struck me are the WinPho 7 numbers. Right now, just 13 percent of this group is concurrently developing for Windows Phone 7, and only 9 percent chose it as the platform with the highest growth potential. And yet, the IDC pronounced that WinPho 7 will overtake iOS within the next four years. If this holds true, then you can bet that these numbers will change drastically.
The iOS vs. Mac scenario is revealing. In 2008, 50 percent of the respondents said they were creating apps for both, while only 7 percent are doing so now. This probably has less to do with Mac’s own popularity than the red-hot rise of the smartphone and tablet industry tempting many a Mac developer over to the mobile side instead.
Surely, these figures might have painted more of a cohesive picture if Munster had polled, say, 450 developers instead of just 45 and across a mix of primary platforms. But for now, as an unscientific poll, it’s still an interesting snapshot, and one that’s bound to change further still over the next couple of years.
Do any of these findings surprise you? How do you think they might change over time? Let us know what you think in the comments below.