Survey: Developer Interest in Android Up, iPad Wanes

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-03-31

Appcelerator, maker of the open-source Titanium cross-platform mobile, desktop and Web development platform, has released a new survey of its developer base that indicates that, while still hot, developer interest in Apple's iPad is slightly on the wane from earlier this year, while interest in the Google Android platform continues to grow.

When Appcelerator initially surveyed its developer base prior to Apple's iPad announcement in January, interest in the platform was overwhelmingly high. At that time, 90 percent of developers said they were very interested in building an iPad app within the year. However, "Fast forward two months to an updated developer poll taken March 23-March 25 and we see sustained interest in the platform, but within an increasingly competitive platform landscape," said an Appcelerator statement on its recent survey.

According to the more recent Appcelerator survey, interest in iPad development remains strong, but off the wild enthusiasm in January. Indeed, in March, 80 percent of developers said they are "very interested" in building an iPad application within the first year versus 90 percent in January. When asked about overall interest in iPad as a development platform, 53 percent responded that they were "very interested"-third behind iPhone and Android. As a point of reference, Amazon Kindle, surveyed for the first time, has only 12 percent of developers claiming a similar level of interest in its recently announced software development kit (SDK).

Indeed, in a statement on these results, Appcelerator said:

"Why this is significant: Appcelerator developers come from a uniquely broad background across iPhone, Android, PC, Mac, and Linux. This breadth of developer interest in the iPad has remained strong, yet has tapered somewhat as the final iPad capabilities became known, such as a camera and support for multi-tasking. Moreover, developers with over 1,000 employees cited having an iPhone, Android, and/or Blackberry app as -critical' while only 36% said they were very interested in the iPad. On the other end, 54% of developers with 10 or fewer employees said they were very interested, as small companies look to claim a first-mover advantage in the App Store."

In addition, increased competition among mobile platforms shows that Android, with 81 percent of developers saying they are "very interested" in the platform, is closing in on the iPhone at 87 percent, while BlackBerry with 43 percent and Windows Phone at 34 percent have doubled and nearly tripled their developer interest numbers, respectively, in just two months.

In January, only 61 percent of developers surveyed said they were very interested in developing for Android. That number rose to 81 percent in March.

Meanwhile, with only 14 percent of developers claiming to be "very interested" in Palm's webOS, Palm is witnessing a drop in interest among developers-from 17 percent in January. And Symbian clocked in at 16 percent, and Meego-the recently combined Maemo/Moblin effort by Nokia and Intel-came in last at just 12 percent.

And as for types of applications supported, developers cited ebooks, entertainment/media applications, business applications, medical applications and education applications as likely candidates for the iPad, consistent with January, according to the Appcelerator survey. 

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