Developer interest over time

IDC and Appcelerator have released the findings of their survey of nearly 2,800 developers concerning interest in working on various mobile platforms. Unsurprisingly, Android and Apple's iOS were well ahead of all others. Android phones had 85 percent and Android tablets saw 71 percent of developers being "very interested" in developing for each platform. iOS was still king by a slight margin with 91 percent for the iPhone and 86 percent for the iPad. Windows Phone 7 grabbed the number five spot at just 29 percent, barely beating out BlackBerry at 27 percent.

While both Android and iOS saw slight dips in developer interest in the latest survey, Android took a slightly larger hit. Still, only six percentage points separate Android phones from the iPhone. Tablets are a different story as developers seem uncertain which tablet to focus on. The current front-runners are the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom, but no single Android tablet has really broken through in the minds of mainstream consumers. In addition, Android tablet sales have yet to take off like Android phones did back in 2010.

The biggest issue in the minds of developers interested in Android development is fragmentation of the platform. Having multiple versions of the OS on devices along with all of the different hardware and custom software running on devices simply makes it harder to develop (bug-free) applications for the platform as opposed to the one-size-fits-all approach of Apple.

Still, it is clear Google needs to find a way to solve this issue if it wants Android to be the number one choice for developers in the long run. As for Microsoft, RIM, and HP, well, they have a lot of work to do if they want to become the clear number 3 choice behind iOS and Android. Check out another graph showing interest in each mobile platform after the break.

Source: Appcelerator

Developer interest by platform


Reader comments

Developer interest in Android and iOS neck-and-neck as both see slight declines


It sucks because I love my Thunderbolt(and my OG Droid and my Incredible) and Android, but if the developers start to decline and the apps start to become horrible. I'll have to switch to the iPhone :(

There is no real decline in developers, this chart is only showing developer interest. And even with that slight decline interest is sky-high, and will get even higher when Android Tablets start to really take off.
Android and iOS rule the roost in terms of both users and app ecosystem, and this isn't going to change anytime soon.

If iPhone starts supporting flash, android will be in trouble. I love my og droid, but the new phones are unimpressive and the phone companies keep nerfing android capabilities. Plus gingerbread was a joke

This is why I'm still holding my X and won't upgrade. I'm waiting for google to realize they are going to have to nix carriers making changes to the OS and making all android phones/tablets compatible across their respective platforms. Android will either become pure android on all devices or eventually fail because fragmentation turns away developers.

^^ This. Microsoft is taking a hit because it is allowing the carriers decide when to release their updates. Something Microsoft said wasn't going to happen, yet it did. And not WP7 phones were getting updates at different times.

Another issue is developer tools. I love developing using the XCode IDE. I hate that I had to buy a Mac to do so though. I like Java as well, but the fact that I have to account for every device differences makes development take a lot longer.

true...You currently have phones pushing 1 years old that are still on Android 1.6 which will never get an upgrade. You have small, medium and large screens. You have processores ranging form 600mhz to 1ghz dual cores. Phones with software only DRM, some with hardware DRM. Now you have Apps that will only works with specific processor(s).

I have been happy so far with my Android base phone since I moved over from an iPhone 6 months ago. I am ever getting turned away due to fragementation.

Android 2.1/2.2 is on over 90% of current devices. Android scales apps to the screen sizes. Almost every phone that comes out now has either a 1 or 2 core 1ghz processor, and the ones coming out with 800mhz procs are almost as fast.

"Fragmentation" is not affecting you, ESPECIALLY if you bought an Android phone in the last 6 months. Almost nobody with an Android device complains about "fragmentation;" it's almost entirely the ifan base.

STOP spreading FUD. Most educated people can see right through it.

your right nobody with an Android phone complains about "Fragmentation" its the developers who complain about it.

Get a dictionary and look up fragmentation. Educated people know what fragmented means.

Fact still remains apps have been and are being developing for certain processors. Fact remains media streaming apps such as Netflix are being programed for certain DRM requirements (hardware vs software), which happen NOT be on all Android OS phones. Fact remains you have many different version of apps in the market that require a certain version of the Android OS. Fact is...all these differences, is called fragmentation.

Fact is...everything I have said can be found in articles written on

While that's a nice plan in theory, practically speaking you better get comfortable, because the smartphone market (and therefore Android) will be growing for a long time before manufacturers and carriers notice that a few users are refusing to upgrade.

If I could suggest an idea, maybe instead of doing nothing, you should continue to upgrade your hardware, but do it more specifically to devices and carriers that are pro Android and less likely to nerf and or rape their phones with bloatware. Like buying Vanilla devices, such as the Nexus phones.