Mobile app development iPhone VS Android

PrintHow do developers perceive different platforms and how is their platform choice affected by the type of apps they developed or the way they define success? Andreas Pappas looks into the data from VisionMobile’s Developer Economics survey in Q3 2013 to shed some light on these questions.

Not long ago, the choice of a mobile platform, i.e. which mobile platform to support was a key question for developers. That question has more or less been addressed now: iOS and Android accounted for 94% of smartphone sales in Q3 2013 and there is little doubt that they will continue to dominate the market in the years to come. For organisations that require massive scale, combined with all the perks of a mobile ecosystem (monetisation, distribution, platform services), iOS and Android are the platforms of choice with a combined Mobile Developer Mindshare of over 85% based on the last Developer Economics survey in Q3 2013.

successDespite the dominance of these two platforms, our latest Developer Economics report showed that the majority of organisations utilise more than one platform at the same time, while 50% of organisations utilise three or more platforms at the same time. This strategy that makes perfect sense for pro developers and organisations where scale matters. ?selection For the majority of organisations involved in app development this is a key question, as resources are scarce and, quite often, a choice must be made. For example, which platform to support first with a new game release or which platform to invest more time on when supporting an existing app?

Ideally all supported platforms should be allocated the level of resources required in order to deliver the best possible product on each platform, but in practice this is rarely the case, even for the largest of organisations. There are of course, many factors to consider, such as costs, capabilities, resources, target market, revenue potential etc.

The common perception regarding Android, iOS and HTML5 would probably look like this:

  • Android is better for reaching more users
  • iOS is better if you want to make more money
  • HTML5 is better if you want to go cross-platform or have existing web assets
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