Developers and their imaginative apps are the fuel that keep both the iPhone and Android car running. Whoever has more fuel will be able to go farther and travel to more majestic places. Apple and Google have both been fighting for this fuel, or rather developer support. Recently, both Apple and Google delivered sterling news. Last week, Apple reported that is had sold 200 million iOS devices along with over 15 billion consumer app downloads. While last month, Google reported that it had begun to see over 500,000 Android device activations per day; an increase from 300,000 per day reported in December. With excellent news from both companies, why then do developers prefer Apple’s iOS over Google’s Android?
First of all, everyone should know that Google’s Android platform is more open than Apple’s iOS platorm, meaning that it’s easier to develop on and there aren’t as many restrictions. That should be a green light for all developers – who would want to work in a more difficult and restricting environment? Furthermore, the Android market has been seeing tremendous growth, in terms of handset activations and apps. The Android market has 200,000 plus apps, with over 4.5 billion downloaded since May. Apple has over 450,000 apps, but Android has only been around for about two years compared to Apple’s four; Android is right where it should be at approximately half the number of Apple’s app count. Why don’t these developers keep pumping more apps for Android then since the market isn’t as crowded?
According to Flurry, a company that provides advertising and analytics services to app developers, there are two main reasons for this shift. One is the release of the Verizon iPhone and the other is the release of the iPad 2. Android development and advertising was a top priority in battling the At&t iPhone before the release of the Verizon iPhone. However, with the release of the Verizon iPhone, Verizon no longer needs to market Android phones so strongly. Flurry puts it better by stating “the pendulum appears to have swung back in favor of iPhone over Android development.”
The iPad 2 is currently the dominant tablet device with over an established and “installed base of more than 20 million.” Basically with such a large consumer base, it would be a no brainer to develop apps for the iPad for any app developer.
Below you’ll find the 2011 Q1 and Q2 comparisons for new project starts on the iPhone/iPod, iPad, and Android.
The graph shows Android losing 8%, while the iPhone/iPod picks up 3% and the iPad picks up 5%. Well, what does this all mean? Google needs to push out more Android handsets or offer developers some sort of incentive to develop for it, if it wants more app developers to hop on board. This is only on quarter though – Android still has phenomenal potential and we all expect it to grow nonetheless.
Looks like for now we’ll just have to sit with our iPods for all the better games.