Most popular mobile app development platform

VisionMobile - Which mobile platform is right for me?The Apple/Google duopoly is the safe choice. It commands a phenomenal Mobile Developer Mindshare, with 86% of mobile app developers using either iOS or Android as evidenced by our recent survey of 6, 000 developers – and a staggering 42% of developers using both platforms. These numbers are no less phenomenal than the combined market share of iOS and Android handset sales which reached 92% of all smartphones in Q1 2013.

But what about developers venturing beyond the duopoly waters? Choices like HTML5, Windows Phone, or the newer Windows 8, BlackBerry 10, Firefox OS, and the upcoming Tizen, Ubuntu and Jolla. Which platform is right? Or better: which platform is right for *me*?

Our latest research shows that developers’ platform choices depend very much on the goal they aim to achieve. When it comes to platform selection, contract developers will opt for platforms that will generate more revenue, CIOs will focus on efficiency and low cost, CMOs will focus on reach, while hobbyists will want to experiment with newer platforms. For an analysis of the hierarchy of developer motivations see our Developer Segmentation Q3 2013 report.

VisionMobile - How developers select a mobile platformRather than asking which is the best platform, we asked something more meaningful. That is: which platform is right for me? The next chart analyses the choices developers make most often (and least often), when they chose a platform for a specific reason. Pick what platform aspect is most important for you, and then see which platform other developers selected most often, according to our survey of 6, 000+ mobile app developers.

Our research shows that iOS is selected more frequently than average by developers that value revenue potential (+12%), graphics (+7%), app discovery (+8%) and user reach (+10%). However, it is selected much less frequently by developers that value nearly every other quality, and in particular open standards (-24%), community programs (-21%) but also portability (-9%) and choice of development environment (-8%).

Android is selected as a primary platform more frequently by developers that value open standards (+16%) but lags when it comes to app discovery (-4%).

Developers tend to use HTML5 more frequently as their primary platform when they value porting (+9%) and speed & cost of development (+4%) but less if they value rich APIs (-6%) or graphics capabilities (-6%). Finally, BlackBerry 10 is used more frequently than average as a primary platform by developers valuing developer community programmes (+16%). And Windows Phone is most popular for developers looking for the right development environment (+3%) and documentation (+2%).

For developers deciding which platform to invest in, the earlier chart offers some peer advice. Do I need deep access to device APIs for the type of apps I will develop? Am I looking to experiment? Do I need a marketing edge in less crowded platforms? Is reach more important than money? The same chart will help the platform vendors themselves understand how they score against the competition in each of these attributes and the areas they need to improve to remain competitive.


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Q&A

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What are the most popular mobile app development community sites?

1.) Simplicity of the conceptual model
2.)  The developer tools that come with the platform
I had never been charmed by a platform, then I met iOS. I get little butterflies when I program on it. Its like the Notebook. It uses such a simple MVC paradigm for development that gives you a real nice set of rails to develop you app along. Further, the development tools available for iOS, namely XCode, are top notch. Its a beautiful IDE, and its Interface Builder is extremely powerful, and simple to use.
Android on the other hand leaves a bad taste in my mouth, namely the conceptual model for An…