Apple vs Google! iPhone vs Android!
Journalists, bloggers and fanboys love to take sides, and there *is* a real fight underway for the future of mobile computing. But are the entrepreneur / app developers who make these platforms so valuable really taking sides?
As Mashable’s Christina Warren reported earlier this week, a recent mobile developer survey by Appcelerator suggests that developers care more about making money on whatever platform is winning than they are on taking sides in a platform war. Perhaps the most surprising result from the report was this one: while 78% of polled developers saw Apple’s iOS as having the “best near-term outlook” (vs 16% for Android), a majority of the same group (54%) picked Android as having the “best long-term outlook” (vs 40% for iOS). As strong as Apple’s current hand is, developers can read the news, and Android has been making headlines lately as a growing threat to Apple’s dominance.
Surveys results are interesting as a snapshot of current attitudes, but when we saw these results here at AppStoreHQ we decided to dig a little deeper…
Our developer directory includes a complete list of every published iPhone, iPad and Android developer currently in the Apple App Store or Android Market, but - until now - we’d treated each platform as a separate list. In light of the Appcelerator data we wanted to know how many developers were “voting with their keyboards” and developing for *both* of the leading smartphone platforms.
The answer (approximated in the graphic below) surprised us: of the nearly 55,000 mobile developers in our database over 1,000 (1,412, to be exact) had already published apps on both iOS and Android. This represents more than 3% of the published iOS developer population, and nearly 15% of the published Android developer group.
Despite the impressive total, we worried that it would be too easy for the fanboys on both sides of the aisle to dismiss these numbers as a crackpot minority. So we dug a little deeper, using our AppRank methodology to stack rank this cross-platform developer group based on the total volume and quality of coverage they’d received among the leading tech blogs worldwide.
We found literally hundreds of cross-platform developers that had received recent coverage of their apps among some of the best and most respected names in online media, including well-known brands like Gameloft, Facebook, AOL, Amazon, Warner Brothers, Yelp, Intuit, PayPal and The New York Times.
Worried that even this impressive sampling wouldn’t be enough to convince the die-hards, we went ahead and published the 100 Most Talked-About Cross-Platform Mobile Developers as a webpage for all to see.
Our conclusion? Smartphone developers want to build for the platform that will deliver the biggest bang for their effort. Right now that’s iOS, but as our cross-platform analysis suggests, many of the strongest iPhone publishers have already added Android to their portfolio. If Android’s current rapid growth continues, you can expect this number to grow.