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Survey: iPhone coders happier, richer than Android devs

updated 12:15 am EDT, Thu September 30, 2010

App Store approval process a sore point, however

About half of all iPhone app developers are making more money than they expected, while about the same number of Android devs report making less than expected, according to a new survey conducted by IT pollsters Open-First of 110 developers for both marketplaces. A plurality of devs rated Apple's App Store as better overall than the Android Marketplace, with 78% expressing some level of satisfaction with the iOS selling experience and a whopping 99% saying they'd continue to write for the platform. However, the Android Marketplace continues to win favor due to its rapid growth, and could easily make changes to balance the equation against Apple, the surveys found.

For starters, a consistent group of about 28 percent of developers expressed dissatisfaction with the Apple's App Store versus alternatives, with most complaints centered around the length of the approval process and unclear reasons sometimes given for rejection. The lack of adults-only apps was a topic of contention with a third of developers. Difficulty in getting a niche app noticed in the popularity-driven market was also a significant areas of concern.

The Android Marketplace scored over the App Store with developers primarily in the lack of any "gatekeeping" by Google, meaning apps get published more or less immediately. This instant "approval" process was also, ironically, the main source of issues for developers -- with many complaining that the market was flooding with low-quality apps and that Android's user base was more heavily composed of open-source and free-software fans, making paid apps a more difficult sell and creating strong downward pressure on prices, particularly compared with the range of higher-priced popular apps on the App Store.

Android devs did praise Google's ability to better promote apps, but joined with App Store developers in objecting to the current obstacles present on both stores for providing support to end users. Overall, taking in data from other app stores like those from Nokia, Blackberry and Microsoft, Android ranks a close second to Apple in developer satisfaction and developers indicated that they are willing to give the Android Marketplace time to improve.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. TomMcIn

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Piracy

    An earlier item today mentioned the higher rate of piracy in the open Android system. Also, when was this survey taken in relation to the changes in the App Store guidelines and approval processes.

    The Smartphone Application world is changing so fast, any survey is likely out of date about two days after the input is collected, and further as the data is analyzed and reported. I did not see any data collection dates in this report.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    rapid growth

    Rapid growth of $0 revenue surely works very well for developers.

  1. jayhammy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    yes, but the long-term outlook isn't so good

    I hate to burst the bubble, but according to THIS survey (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20017903-37.html), the long-term outlook is better for Android. Just sayin'

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Rapid growth with $0 revenue seems to be

    in vogue nowadays. I don't know what the analysts see when looking at the Android ecosystem, but I don't quite see how it's going to make all these billions of dollars for Google and developers. It seems like an inherently broken model that even hundreds of millions of units in users hands won't change. I just don't see where all this potential is coming from. Ad clicks? I wish the analysts would explain in detail how Android is going to make Google and developers rich. Or at least richer than Apple who will also have a huge number of devices running iOS with every penny less 30% going directly back to Apple.

  1. tfmeehan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    RE: Yes, but...

    I hate to burst YOUR bubble but making a claim on a single, speculative survey is not too smart.

    Android may very well have a good long-term outlook but that doesn't mean that iOS doesn't. One doesn't necessarily follow the other. Developers will follow the money no matter what their complaints and concerns.

    And for those of you who haven't noticed, Apple is quite capable of financial success whether they own a market or not.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Re: Rapid growth with $0 revenue seems to be

    Rapid growth with $0 revenue seems to be in vogue nowadays.

    Nowadays? It's been that way for years. Or did you miss the entire .com bubble bursting?

    I don't know what the analysts see when looking at the Android ecosystem, but I don't quite see how it's going to make all these billions of dollars for Google and developers.

    And where, exactly, did you determine that all developers give their Android software away for free? You seem to act like no one with an Android phone will buy an app or anything (like they're just rushing to buy apps for their iPhone, though).

    It seems like an inherently broken model that even hundreds of millions of units in users hands won't change. I just don't see where all this potential is coming from. Ad clicks?

    Yeah, because the last thing you want is hundreds of millions of units. Because, h***, not one of those owners will ever spend money on an app!

    Or at least richer than Apple who will also have a huge number of devices running iOS with every penny less 30% going directly back to Apple.

    Technically, it's 30% going to Apple, 70% to the developer. On Android, I think developers, if they even sell their apps, have to give it all to charity or Google or something. Apparently they aren't allowed to keep it.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    Argue all you like,


    survey all you like, badmouth all you like.

    iPhone is still losing to Android.

    The Little Green Robot is going to take you out, one device at a time. Resistance is futile.

  1. tfmeehan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    RE: Argue all you like...

    "iPhone is still losing to Android"

    Losing what?

    Losing ground percentage-wise may not make Apple happy but they are still selling phones like crazy and will continue to do so.

    Blackberry and others may be losing to Android (and Apple) but Apple sales are still stronger than any single (or several combined) Android phone vendor.

    All reports (including yours) of Apple's demise are greatly exaggerated.

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