In 2008 and 2009 all major mobile handset manufacturers and operating system providers jumped on the train Apple had started and launched their own mobile development and distribution platforms. In 2009 only a few developers allocated their resources to those platforms. Apple dominated the market and there was no other platform which reached similar download and app numbers to those of the market leader.
In 2010 alternative platforms besides Apple became more of a focus for app developers. In the first half year 2010 Android made the biggest progress in terms of number of apps, downloads and reach. Where does this development lead? Will Apple become the second best platform in the future? The following graph shows the way that app developers rate the business potentials of mobile platforms today and in 2013.
By 2013 Android will have become the mobile platform which offers the highest business potential for mobile app developers. This includes all paid content, advertisement and transaction based business models. There are three different clusters: “The new smartphone premier league”, the “incumbents” and the “don’t knows”. Platforms within a cluster seem to remain in that cluster with regard to their business potential today and 2013.
The results of the global developer survey are very much in line with “common” thinking in the market. Now everybody is moving in the direction of Android, Apple and HTML5.
Recent market numbers (1 HY 2010) indicate that developers that do not swim with the masses and are able to develop for incumbent platforms might have a better chance to become successful than their competitors on Apple, Android and Web. Any developer that has the resources for multi-platform development should be aware of the actual reach, competition level and pricing level on all platforms before making their choice.
What is your view on the business potential of mobile platforms?
All results of the global developer survey: “Business potential of mobile platforms” are available in a PowerPoint slide deck.
For more information please contact:
Robert Karsten, rk @ research2guidance.com or call 49 30 60 989 3363.
Update: The research is based on qualitative, in-depth-telephone interviews with mobile application developers worldwide.