updated 09:40 am EDT, Tue April 26, 2011
Windows Phone, RIM take minority stakes
Interest in iOS development remains high, while Android has lost some ground, according to a survey on the mobile app industry by IDC and Appcelerator. 91 percent of developers say they're "very interested" in iPhone/iPod development; 86 percent say they're very interested in the iPad. The attraction to Android smartphone development has meanwhile dropped two points to 85 percent. Android tablet interest is down three points, sitting at 71 percent.
IDC notes that the dips "stand in contrast to steadily increasing developer interest in Android over the last year and are consistent with an increase in developer frustration with Android." 63 percent of developers say that device fragmentation is a major platform risk, meaning different devices being stuck on different versions of the operating system. 30 percent identify weak Android tablet traction as a problem, and 28 percent cite multiple app stores.
Android tablet interest is narrowly focused at present. "While 71 percent of developers are very interested in Android as a tablet OS, only 52 percent are very interested in one of the leading Android tablet devices today, the Samsung Galaxy Tab," says IDC. "Further down the list, only 44 percent are very interested in the Motorola Xoom and 31 percent in the upcoming HTC Flyer. Smaller players (Acer, Archos, etc.) register minimal interest."
In third place overall is Microsoft, with 29 percent developer interest. The company is betting much of its efforts on Windows Phone 7. Just 27 percent, meanwhile, are focused on Research in Motion's BlackBerry and PlayBook platforms.