iOS Preferred Over Android By Developers of Both Mobile Platforms

At Apple's WWDC, 100 developers were queried and 55 said they also develop for Android, but iOS is easier and offers more opportunity for revenue, according to a Piper Jaffray report.

Mobile app developers whose workloads include creating both iOS and Android apps say Apple€™s iOS is their preferred platform, Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster and Douglas J. Clinton said in a June 18 research note. Two categories in particular€”ease of development and future revenue growth€”influenced their thinking the most.

Apple and Google each recently wooed developers at respective San Francisco conferences€”Google at its I/O event and Apple at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC)€”making June €œarguably the most critical month of the year for each company,€ analytics firm Flurry wrote in a June 7 blog post. With Google and Apple engaged in a multi-year platform war, it added, the success of each company €œlargely depends on innovation provided for their platforms by the third-party developer community.€

Munster and Clinton report that of the 100 iOS developers they surveyed at WWDC, 55 of them also develop for Android. This was up from last year, when 47 percent of the developers queried said they also made Android apps. Still, the number of Apple purists rose; 42 of iOS developers at this year's event said they only develop for iOS, compared with 36 percent last year.

Of the 55 who develop for both iOS and Android, 84 percent said iOS €œwas best for ease of development,€ said the report. Android was named as easiest by 5 percent of the 55, while Microsoft Windows Phone was named by another 2 percent.

Regarding revenue potential, 64 percent of the 55 believed the potential for dollars was greatest with Apple, 5 percent said Android and 31 percent were either undecided or uncomfortable answering the question.

Flurry has weighed in on this topic as well, reporting in Dec. 2011 that developers anecdotally said that they make three to four times as much money on iOS as Android. Running the numbers, Flurry indeed found that for every $1 generated on iOS, the same app on Android earned a developer $0.24.

€œThe importance of a strong developer base is crucial to the success of a mobile operating system, and therefore, the success of a phone or tablet as well,€ Munster and Clinton said of their findings. €œWe believe that Apple€™s loyal developer base will continue to develop cutting-edge apps for iOS that will draw in new customers, helping to fuel continued growth in iOS device sales.

To the disappointment of many, Apple didn€™t introduce a new iPhone at WWDC. It€™s expected that the announcement will come later this summer, with the device going on sale in October€”and, for the first time, that it will feature a larger display. Apple is also expected to introduce a smaller version of the iPad in time for the holidays.

Will adjusting apps to the new screen sizes prove a headache for developers?

Munster and Clinton write that the developers, judging the effort on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being very difficult, gave the effort an average score of 3.4.

€œGiven the relative ease expected by developers for utilizing potential new iOS screen sizes,€ they wrote, €œwe believe the introduction of new screen sizes would not affect the success or availability of the apps on iOS.

In its June 7 post, Flurry reported that 7 out of 10 new apps being built are for iOS. Developers are running a business, it added, €œand businesses seek out markets where revenue opportunities are highest and the cost of building and distributing is lowest.€

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