Apple’s iOS continues to be the platform of choice for developers as iPhone and iPad users are more likely to spend money on applications.
While the latest figures from Gartner said Android accounts for almost eight out of every 10 smartphones shipped globally, a Forrester survey showed iOS was the priority platform for more than a third of software developers in the western world. Only 27% targeted Android phones first, because presence in the Apple App Store was proving to make them more money.
A Canalys report recording app downloads in 50 countries during Q1 2013 discovered Google Play was responsible for more than half of all downloads, although the iOS store accounted for 74% of the revenue. Mobile app analytics organisation Distimo revealed that during April 2013 in the US, Apple earned $5.1m (£3.3m) daily from its top 200 grossing applications – 4.6 times more than Android.
IDC industry analyst Francisco Jeronimo said: ‘We’re talking about different audiences. iOS has a strong app base and the quality of apps is higher, therefore consumers are keen to spend more money. iPhone users can generally afford the high end so they don’t mind paying for apps. Google Play offers a lot more free apps so users are not so eager to buy them. iOS is popular with app developers because it’s harder to sell Android users premium applications.’
Android’s extensive handset portfolio with different OS versions and various screen sizes also makes developing software for its devices more complex.
Flurry Analytics vice president of marketing, Peter Farago, said: ‘Android delivers less gain and more pain than iOS, which we believe is the key reason seven out of every 10 apps built in the new economy are for iOS instead of Android.’
While iOS is the priority for developers, Android is slowly closing the gap thanks to its dominance in the marketplace. Overall, Android handsets are being targeted more than iPhones, thanks to the depth of handsets running the OS at multiple price points compared to Apple’s limited range.
Tablets are less of a priority than smartphones, although developers are more concerned with the iPad than comparable Android devices. Just over a quarter said the iPad was their second priority and around one fifth said the same with an Android tablet.
BlackBerry continues in its struggle to make headway in the smartphone market. Critics have highlighted an undercooked apps offer compared to rivals as one of the reasons BB10 is failing to catch on. Fewer than 10% of developers see BB10 or BB7 as a priority. Windows Phone was respondent’s fifth priority after the iOS and Android devices, with almost 50%.
Author: Matthew Campelli