Mobile App Developers Favor Android Over Apple iOS: Survey
Developers are the lifeblood of any device and, according the latest results of a survey conducted by application developer tools and services provider Appcelerator and IDC, Google's Android mobile operating system has more going for it today and into the future than Apple's iOS.
The September survey found that 58.6 percent of the more than 2,300 mobile app developers queried believe Android has a better long-term outlook compared to 34.9 percent for Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS platform.
More concerning for Apple fans, this divergence of opinion has grown considerably since the last time developers were polled in June when 54 percent of developers favored Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) mobile OS compared to 40.4 percent for iOS.
Seventy-two percent of developers surveyed said they believe Android is "best positioned to power a large number and variety of connected devices in the future," compared to just 35 percent of developers who think Apple iOS is better positioned in the fast-growing mobile device and application market.
This sentiment mirrors recent smartphone sales data showing Android-based smartphones and mobile devices growing in popularity at the expense of offerings from Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), Nokia and Apple.
But Apple has been doing more to woo developers of late. For example, earlier this month Apple relaxed its restrictions on the use of third-party tools by developers building mobile apps for the iPhone and the iPad. The company also said it will publish the rules and guidelines it uses to approve or deny new application submissions to its App Store, giving developers the transparency they've been clamoring for since the first iPhone was released in November 2007.
Gartner currently projects annual mobile application download sales of almost $30 billion by 2013, up from $4.2 billion in 2009 and an expected $6.2 billion this year.
In the second quarter, consumers purchased more than 61.6 million smartphones, up 50 percent from the same period in 2009. Android-based devices reported the most prolific sales growth, surging from 756,000 units sold all of last year to more than 10.6 million units in the second quarter of 2010.
The IDC/Appcelerator survey also found developers slightly prefer Google TV for new applications (44 percent) compared to 40 percent for the revamped Apple TV offering.