BlackBerry shunned by app developers as Windows Phone 7 booms

Even Android could be vulnerable

App developers are rapidly losing interest in RIM's BlackBerry platform and setting their sights on the new big three, Apple, Android and Windows 7, a survey has found.

The 2,160 respondents to the latest Appcelerator/IDC survey show that Apple and Google's Android are still the top platforms, but within that predictable picture some interesting points emerge.

Ninety-one per cent of developers described themselves as "very interested" in the iPhone, 88 per cent in the iPad and 83 per cent in Android as a whole.

The BlackBerry has now sunk to 21 per cent interest levels, well behind possible future giant Windows Phone 7 on 38 per cent, which appears to have been buoyed by Microsoft's deal with handset maker Nokia and the arrival of the Lumia smartphone. The PlayBook in particular is an area of dwindling interest with only 13 per cent highly motivated to continue developing for the tablet.

While developers see Android's fragmentation as a turn-off, the arrival of low-cost devices such as Amazon's Fire has spurred interest with 49 per cent "very interested", one point ahead of the number feeling the same way about Samsung's Galaxy Tablet.

The slow but steady rise of interest in Windows Phone 7 throws out an obvious challenge to the fast-fading BlackBerry but also, reading between the lines, to the apparently-impregnable Android too.

Developers appear to like the stability of the Microsoft-Nokia axis despite being intrigued by Android's creative chaos in which new types of device such as Amazon's e-Reader can appear unexpectedly.

One surprising loser is internet-based TV, with both Apple and Google's platforms showing marked drops in interest levels year-on-year, a reflection of the technology's immaturity.

"Both Apple TV and Google TV remain very low priorities for businesses that are increasingly facing more and more demand from customers seeking an ever-wider array of smartphone and tablets," note the authors.

With Adobe's Flash reaching heading for the exit, 66 per cent of developers expressed enthusiasm for using HTML5 in new mobile sites.

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Tags mobilesmartphonesBlackberryGooglewirelessAppleAndroidiPhonemobile applicationsIDCconsumer electronicsresearch in motionPersonal TechMobile &ampSmartphone applications

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John E Dunn

Techworld
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