Charts show why Android is the choice for developers

Charts show why Android is the choice for developers
If a picture tells a thousand words, some charts speak volumes about which platform is the focus of developers. A chart showing world wide smartphone sales since the first quarter of 2007, when Apple introduced the iPhone, reveals how Symbian has dropped from an industry leading 65% share of global smartphone sales to practically nothing by the second quarter of this year. Android has risen from a tiny share of the market in the fourth quarter of 2008 to hit a dominating 80% of smartphone sales world-wide by this year's Q2.

Interestingly, iOS never had a strong uptrend like Android and basically peaked in the fourth quarter of 2011 with 23% of the global smartphone market. By the second quarter of 2013, iOS had 13% of the world's smartphone market. As late as the first three months of 2010, BlackBerry hugged the 20% line. But as iOS and Android grew, BlackBerry lost sales. Meanwhile, Windows Phone is trying to establish itself and while it is showing growth, it is at a much slower pace than what Android experienced. Google's open source OS is now being activated on 1.5 million devices daily and has activated a cumulative total of 1 billion devices.

The Google Play Store originally was criticized for having a large quantity of low quality apps. A chart from AppBrain that is updated through last Thursday, shows how the growth of so-called low quality apps has been held in check. The final chart shows how that developers are writing more for Android than iOS by a fairly decent margin except in Oceania where iOS leads, and in the U.S. where Android has a slim lead. In the states, 67% of developers write for Android vs. the 62% that write for iOS. Apple's stronger showing in the U.S. is due to the iPhone's leading position as the top smartphone in the country.

Despite Android's apparent edge with developers, most of the apps that generate high publicity still launch on iOS first. Even Google's own YouTube Capture launched as an iOS exclusive last December. The app captures video, allows you to edit it, and then sends it off to as many as four social networking sites (YouTube, Google+, Twitter and Facebook) with a single click. Promised to be available to Android users, so far the app has been a no show in the Google Play Store.

source:  AppBrain via AndroidAuthority



1. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2279; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

"Google's open source OS"?

5. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Have you ever heard about the Android?

12. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

He is probably referring/teasing last article "Android isn't freedom, because Google is closed "

17. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

I don't know if Google is open or closed since it is a company, but I know that Android as software is open source.

21. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

Videolan is an example of an open source company. They are mainly known for making VLC media player.

24. RoyalPayne

Posts: 458; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

The only meaningful post of yours ever. +1

29. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Don't worry, you'll have one too some day.

32. RoyalPayne

Posts: 458; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

I'd be worried about you though...

38. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

I know about Videolan and VLC. But what it has do do with what i have said?

41. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 892; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Also, Mozilla... known for Firefox

20. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Yes. The Google filed OS you're used to is built upon the Android Open Source Project. Otherwise known as AOSP. This is what other companies like Amazon use as a base for their Kindle Fire line which runs Fire OS. Or like what formerly community driven projects like Cyanogenmod are built upon. Totally free to use and compile it's licensed as open source software. Drivers and software which you install or comes pre installed aren't always open source because someone spends time doing coding work and gets paid for their time, so companies like to be reimbursed for their employees hard work by charging for drivers and other software. If you were as knowledgeable as you imply you are you'd know that Android is more than just what Google distributes... I don't really have to say it but, NOOB.

36. sks1969

Posts: 108; Member since: Mar 04, 2012

Read about open source first, Open source does not mean free, free as in $$. It means you have to give out the source along with your binary. Google does not give out the sources for many of the drivers it builds on Android. That is why the Android, released by Google is pseudo open source, affectionately called Google source :-)

2. valapsp

Posts: 565; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

and that's why we see android/ios fans complain about the lack of apps for wp. I really love wp and hope developers become more interested in developing apps/games for it. Pretty potential if MS doesn't cease its development and support for no reason and then regretting its decision like it did for windows mobile.

10. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

WP will not see more success than Apple even in their wildest dreams since they're trying to copy the Apple model and doing a pretty bad job of that. They want to make massive profits on hardware and want to control the ecosystem but that only works if you have either the best platform or a mindless horde. They have neither in the same quantity as Apple, who have better platform design and a larger mindless horde. They are also copying the Android model a bit by licensing the OS out, but Android is free and open while WP is closed and expensive. Once again, in classics fashion they are trying to copy all their competitors at the same time and delivering a half as good version of each whereas the competition is delivering the best of one focus.

28. Pancholo

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

As much as I love WP, I have to agree with you on most points. One of the things I'll see myself doing in the future is helping/persuading my fellow developers into approaching and releasing to most stores (with a hopeful emphasis on the Window's store).

37. 1moreUserNameIdotNeed unregistered

"mindless hordes" hey ??? That would be the same 'mindless hordes' that allow every single detail of their lives' (including where they live, their phone number, bank account details etc..) to be stored on remote google servers around the world. Please don't generalize you clueless moron!

3. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

arstechnica com googles iron grip on android controlling open source by any means necessary

7. tedkord

Posts: 17414; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And ?

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

There are so many errors with this article it makes me cringe.

6. Miracles

Posts: 560; Member since: Aug 31, 2013

Windows Phone definitely has the potential, but they are taking it slow compared to Android and iOS. Android started Q4 2008 and iOS in 2007, compared to WP in Q4 2009. So yeah Android kickoff of a year earlier but now dominates the world, iOS was two years earlier, but still comparable to Android. So WP needs to get their things in gear, if they want to be as big as the leaders. It seems I can't spell Android or Detroit right, because I but the i before the o. :(

8. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

The problem with windows phone is that it is trying to take the similar approach as Apple in regards to ecosystem control. Maybe not as intense, but people want open accessibility and the power to do what they want with the product they purchased. Enough control already. Do we not deal with too much control as it is? Android is the most diverse platform for today's consumer. You either like or hate it. 80% of the world finds its tailoring aspects, indispensible. I speak from being a former Apple user in the late 80's and Windows user up until 2009. Android has finally gotten it all together and it is a force to be reckoned with. John B.

9. Miracles

Posts: 560; Member since: Aug 31, 2013


11. DanielWalsh1294

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

I concur. Android domination has just begun.

13. jellmoo

Posts: 2624; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

We are missing a lot of information here. The key breakdown we need to see concerns profitability. Where are developers making money? What is the cost to profit ratio per platform? What is the breakdown of free to paid to freemium apps, and which are pulling in the most profit? Does the extra cost related to Android development impact the bottom line when compared to iOS development? After we move away from the big 2 (iOS and Android) is there a higher profitability in BB 10 or WP? Does the more closed nature of iOS impact potential profitability for developers when compared to the greater options Android provides? The metrics presented are nowhere near good enough to reach an actual conclusion about anything. At the end of the day, developers will move towards whatever platform gives them the best ROI. This needs to be better displayed before we can really dig into it.

14. Alan01

Posts: 627; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Profitability is an additional metric true, but the other metrics, especially the last chart, already shows the results of taking profitability into account. Despite what you guys think, we have no ax to grind here. In other words, we don't take sides. The article already points out that the App Store gets high profile apps first. The unbiased truth is that in terms of sheer numbers, Android has done an amazing job catching up with at one time was a huge lead by Apple. And another story could be done to compare the profitability of both stores. But right now, the numbers presented show that developers favor Android. Alan F.

15. jellmoo

Posts: 2624; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Unfortunately that's an example of correlation does not imply causation. More Android handsets available and the amount of developers are indicators, but not proof of anything. I'm not trying to imply any sort of preference or axe to grind at all. There just isn't enough data to really show anything though. We need to better define what a developer is (there is a massive difference between a large development company, a small production house, and a kid in their parent's basement), when developers work on multiple platforms which is the flagship one, where they end up making the bulk of their profits, etc... There isn't any real display of profitability in the charts themselves, only market share. They are not one and the same.

16. Alan01

Posts: 627; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Agreed. But we are talking market share, not profitability. If we had written "Developers make more money writing for Google Play Store," then you would have a point. The story is about market share and nothing more. Regards, Alan F.

19. jellmoo

Posts: 2624; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I think the issue though, and not really to criticize, is that you are skirting around what could be an interesting article, but not really diving into what could be some interesting conclusions. Just food for thought: - More in depth looks at regions where the number of developers between iOS and Android are very close. - What is the impact on profitability when it comes to market share? Does Android's larger presence in the market mean more profit for developers? - How does the submission process per platform impact the rates of app store growth? Does the slower process of iOS cost it app submissions? - How is the rate of abandonment of applications by developer per platform? Are devs more likely to continue support on iOS or android? - What kind of difference do app developers see when it comes to supporting their apps on each platform? I think you have the start of a great article or series of articles, but I think that you really just scratched the surface of what is a very interesting analysis of these platforms. Your initial premise is very easy to state and substantiate: Android has a higher market share. I just think that moving into more details, presenting more data and analyzing the trends will create more compelling articles.

22. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Developers are nothing more than self-employed business people. If you want to flourish in business, you not only focus on just the largest client of income, but also need to concentrate on what clients provide consistency and continuous opportunity for growth. While Apple may cut developers larger paychecks, Android's marketshare by an immense percentage, is far more abundant to adhere to volume income. In short, this article should not be used to determine an Apple Vs Android war. It should be used as a tool that developers will prevail better in expansive deliverance of their work to more people when dealing with Androids massive consumer coverage. That is the ultimate goal in repeat business if the work is done extremely well. John B.

26. jellmoo

Posts: 2624; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

That simplifies what is a very complex issue way too much though. Marketshare alone isn't what drives profit, nor is it necessarily the key for longevity. There are a ton of factors at play that should be analyzed, and the "answer" will differ wildly on a great many deciding factors: - The size of the company and what types of products and expertise they wish to offer - The additional up front cost to QA your product for Android - The additional back end cost in case of a failed submission to iOS - Does your product target a particular region? - *How* you plan to monetize it. etc... Marketshare is important, no doubt, but it isn't the be all and end all when it comes to driving profits. There are a ton of analytics that companies put together to analyze these trends and figure out what is their best path to success. Traditionally, it has been iOS first, port to Android. But that is only now really starting to change, but still not change as quickly as the Android market domination would lead you to think.

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