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20 March 2012, 12:11

Android fragmentation dampens developer interest

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Fragmented Android

The quarterly survey by Appcelerator and IDC has once again asked mobile app developers about their preferences. For the second time in succession, the number of programmers answering positively to the question of whether they were "very interested" in Android development has fallen. The survey encompassed just under 2,200 developers.

Whilst iOS maintained its first place, with 89% and 88% interest for the iPhone and iPad respectively, interest in Android declined to between 79% for smartphones and 59% for tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich. In the previous survey, in the fourth quarter of 2011, between 68% and 83% were "very interested" in the Android platform.

Zoom Whilst Apple's iOS remains top of the developer interest tree, Android has seen interest fall.


The study's authors believe that this is "mostly due to the fragmentation Android continues to experience and that Google seems unable to curtail". The continuing success of Apple's mobile devices is also contributing to declining interest in Google's OS.

With a figure of 66%, slightly more developers are now very interested in HTML5 than in Android tablets. 79% of respondents are planning to integrate HTML5 into their apps in 2012. Most of them will, however, develop hybrid applications using platform-specific GUI elements. Appcelerator's Titanium product is a framework for creating just such hybrid apps.

There is little change in the level of interest in Microsoft's Windows Phone, which remains in third place. Following a brief rise in the second quarter of 2011, it now has a 37% rating. RIM's Blackberry continues to shed developer interest. Whilst 40% were "very interested" in 2010, this has now dropped to just 16%. RIM's PlayBook tablet elicits a high level of interest in just over 10% of respondents.


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