Developers favor Android outlook over iOS

A survey of app developers finds that Android is quickly closing the gap as the platform that developers are pursuing

More developers are actively engaged in creating iPhone and iPad apps than apps for other mobile platforms today, but a new survey from Appcelerator indicates the momentum is shifting. Android is closing the gap on current app development, while widening its lead over iOS as the platform considered to have the best long-term outlook.

An Appcelerator blog post detailing the results of the developer survey frames the battle between Android and iOS. "One of the most discussed findings of Appcelerator's June 2010 survey revealed that 54.0 percent of developers said Android had the best long-term outlook compared to iOS at 40.4 percent. Fast forward three months beyond a successful iPhone 4 launch and Apple's recent announcement that it would be easing restrictions on developers and... this gap has widened 10.1 points. Now 58.6 percent of respondents in our new survey believe Android has a better long-term outlook over iOS (34.9 percent)."

A year ago such results might have seemed ludicrous--or even blasphemous. The Apple iCulture was already firmly entrenched with a comfortable lead, and even with its initial success surpassing the BlackBerry and WebOS app markets, Google's Android Market seemed like a trivial challenger for the formidable Apple App Store.

Appcelerator explains in the blog post, "that developers favor Android 72 percent to 25 percent over iOS as the platform "best positioned to power a large number and variety of connected devices in the future,"" and that, "by a wide margin, Android is considered the most open platform, even after Apple's recent changes to its developer agreement to provide additional clarity to its app approval process and open up iOS to other development tools/languages."

The developer survey results seem to indicate that developers see the writing on the wall, though, and that it is assumed that Android will one day dwarf iOS just as Windows dwarfs Mac OS X in the PC market. While zealots will debate the intricacies that separate the platforms and make one or the other "superior", the expected victory of Android is more a function of volume and logistics than the technical supremacy of either mobile OS.

The availability of Android as an open source mobile platform means that its future potential is essentially in the hands of developers, and that its limits are defined by the creativity of those that build on and expand its capabilities. By contrast, Apple's iOS is closed and proprietary. Its capabilities are limited to how Apple defines them, its potential is restricted to the devices that Apple deems worthy, and its use protected by licensing agreements and copyright law.

Just as the Apple business model has limited the potential for Mac OS X, the restrictive nature of iOS virtually guarantees that Android will surpass it as the dominant mobile platform. That said, just as Apple continues to have a dedicated following for its PCs despite having a trivial five percent market share, it will most likely continue to have a loyal following for its iPhone and iPad, and continue to generate substantial revenue and profit despite eventually losing the market share war.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonesApplePhonesGoogle Androidconsumer electronicsiphone 4Cell Phones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?