Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) new social network edged Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iCloud as the Web service that developers believe will most facilitate the growth of mobile application development, according to mobile cloud platform provider Appcelerator.
Along with researcher IDC, the startup learned that 25 percent of 2,012 Appcelerator developers surveyed around the world believe Google+ will be a major priority for app developers. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said Apple's iCloud storage service would be a top draw for the mobile Web.
Google+ is only a month old and Apple just announced pricing for iCloud, which isn't available yet. So this could be just a case of developers seeking opportunity in these shiny new green fields of Google social network and Apple Web-based storage services. Even so, it's hard to argue with either choice.
Google and Apple have become the incumbent software purveyors for the mobile Web by dint of Google's Android operating system and Apple's iOS platform. Canalys this week put Android at 48 percent worldwide market share, with iOS at 19 percent.
Naturally, developers want to ride the hot horses, with Apple boasting more than 400,000 mobile applications and Android Market offering more than 200,000 apps.
"Google and Apple are pushing mobile competition beyond OS platforms into the cloud and into social integration," said IDC analyst Scott Ellison, who worked on the report with Appcelerator.
"This means even broader battles with major players like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook, creating new competitive complexities and opportunities going forward for everyone in the mobile ecosystem."
Speaking of Facebook, 66 percent of Appcelerator respondents said Google+ can catch up to Facebook.
This is interesting considering that comScore tallied Google+ membership at 25 million through July 24, roughly one month of service. Facebook took three years to reach that many users, but it now has more than 750 million users after accelerating growth in 2008.
Some 68 percent of developers said Google+ can catch Facebook by leveraging its massive user base of search, YouTube, Google Maps, which is greater than even Facebook's social graph. Google search alone has more than 1 billion users, while YouTube and Google Maps have hundreds of millions of users each.
Even so, most are sticking with the social leader: 83 percent of developers using social in their apps say they use or are planning to use Facebook this year. Twitter is second at 73 percent, followed by Google+ at 72 percent. This is interesting considering Google has not yet released its Google+ API.
The social site is growing at a clip of one million users per day, with growth flat in the United States but steadier overseas. While the United States leads with roughly 6.5 million + users, India is second with 3.6 million. Canada and the U.K. sport more than 1 million + users each.