Dont Rule Out Microsoft
Meanwhile, Windows Phone 7 rose eight points to 36 percent of developers indicating they are "very interested" due to a better-than-expected launch, Schwarzhoff said. Respondents said that Windows Phone's improved UI was a critical factor for the increase. "No one is ruling out Microsoft, at least in the enterprise," Schwarzhoff said. He said Microsoft's strategy of more stringent control over OEM implementations will limit fragmentation, which could become a concern for Android. Also, Microsoft's tie-in to business apps is a plus for its platform, he said.Regarding app stores, Schwarzhoff said Amazon's newly announced Android Appstore shows early promise. While 82 percent of developers said they are interested in distributing their apps through the Android Market, 37 percent said they are interested in the Amazon Appstore, 13 percent for Verizon VCAST and 9 percent for GetJar. Interestingly, developers are about equally as interested in the Mac App Store, at 39 percent, as they are in Amazon's new Android Appstore. Appcelerator said the proliferation of apps, devices, platforms and capabilities has triggered a race among businesses large and small to define a sustainable mobile strategy. This quarter, Appcelerator and IDC introduced a new "Mobile Maturity Model" to identify three phases of mobility adoption shaping up in the enterprise and consumer markets: "exploration," "acceleration" and "innovation." Last year, most respondents (43 percent) said they were in the "exploring" phase of their mobile strategy. A simple app or two-typically on iPhone-and a focus on free or $0.99 branded apps was standard practice. This year, 55 percent of respondents said they are now shifting into the "acceleration" phase. This phase is defined by the following trends and mobile strategies. For instance, on average, each respondent said they plan to develop 6.5 apps this year, up 183 percent over last year. And businesses are increasingly taking a multiplatform approach. On average, respondents said they plan to deploy apps on at least four different devices-such as iPhone, iPad, Android Phone and Android tablet this year, up twofold over 2010. Moreover, 87 percent of developers said their apps will connect to the cloud this year, up from 64 percent last year. Interest in commerce apps is also on the rise, with PayPal beating Apple and Google as the No. 1 preferred method for payments. And business models are evolving to stay in lockstep with these more engaging mobile app experiences. Developers are shifting away from free brand affinity apps and becoming less reliant on $0.99 app sales. Increasingly, the focus is on user engagement models such as in-app purchasing and advertising, with mobile commerce on the horizon. And 81 percent of respondents said they "insource" their development, with the majority saying they have an integrated in-house Web and mobile team. For a complete summary of the findings, visit: http://bit.ly/appcelerator_idc_q1_2011_mobile_developer_report.
"As apps are becoming more social, more local and more cloud connected, it's a long way to go [for Microsoft]," Schwarzhoff said. "Are they going to blow it open this year? It's daunting, but they will improve it. They will be maniacally focused on iterative improvement. With Windows Phone 7, they made it through the toughest launch in their history."