MEX Notes: Android numbers exploding, but developers choose iOS

  • Android numbers exploding, but developers choose iOS – This article from FierceDeveloper editor Jason Ankeny raises an interesting question: why are developers increasingly focused on iOS when the number of Android OS devices is growing faster? If both platforms offered equal opportunities for developers, one would expect to see commitment to Android growing rapidly. However, Ankeny points to research by Flurry which showed Android as a percentage of new apps on the Flurry analytics platform falling from 39 percent in Q4 2010, to 36 percent in Q1 2011 and further to 28 percent in Q2 2011. iOS projects rose from 64 percent to 72 percent Q1 to Q2 2011.

    Our own user research suggests the explanation lies in consumer purchasing motivation. Most iOS users actively choose their device, in some cases saving money for several months specifically to buy the product. They bring with them an excitement about its capabilities and an intention to buy apps. In contrast, the majority of Android users are unaware which operating system powers their device and have often received the handset on the recommendation of their operator rather than through personal motivation. They lack an awareness of its capabilities and have lower enthusiasm for extending the capabilities of their device. It is just a phone which happens to be powered by Android. When combined with the fragmented sales channels and development path for Android apps, developers are simply seeing a better return on time invested in iOS applications.

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