iOS, Android Share Developer Corps: Munster

Almost half of Apple iOS developers also write software for Google's open-source Android platform, Piper Jaffray found at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference last week.

Yet another report has brought evidence that being an Apple iOS developer and a Google Android developer are not mutually exclusive preoccupations.

The new evidence came from Apple's home turf at its Worldwide Developers Conference last week, where Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled iCloud, iOS 5 and other tools to help programmers write applications.

Piper Jaffray research analyst Gene Munster found that 22 of 45 developers (47 percent) surveyed at the popular event said they write applications for both iOS and Android.

Of course, the results also showed something that most iOS developers and analysts who study them know to be universally true: that iOS is the dominant mobile platform.

Indeed, Munster found that all of the 22 developers who develop software for both iOS and Android prefer iOS for monetization and ease of development.

Also, 51 percent of programmers polled said iOS has the best growth potential, followed closely by Android at 40 percent.

"We believe Apple's strong developer base will help it to maintain and gain share in mobile," Munster wrote in a research note June 13.

Few will argue with Munster's findings, particularly after the stats Apple execs rattled off at WWDC. There are well over 400,000 iOS apps, and Apple has paid out $2.5 billion to developers, which is a major factor in Apple's success.

However, Google isn't standing still with Android, the leading U.S. smartphone platform with more than 100 million handsets activated in over 100 countries worldwide. IDC expects Android will hit 40 percent market share this year.

The Android Market itself is much improved from earlier days when it was the punchline to jokes comparing it to Apple's vaunted App Store.

Munster's report follows Baird analyst William Power's April poll, when he surveyed 250 developers and found that 70 percent of the iOS developers claimed they also develop for Android, with 63 percent of Android developers also developing for iOS.

What all of this proves is that developing for iOS or Android is not a zero sum game. However, if developers want to make good money, they stand a greater chance with iOS than with Android. Google needs to improve platform monetization to grow developer mind- and market-share.