IT Chimes Blog

Android Losing Developer Interest Continuously

September 26, 2012

Ok, much written favouring Google, let me tell you about something which can bother Google, albeit indirectly. Appcelerator found out that developers are losing interest to develop apps for Android, the free and open source mobile OS. The data were combined after the site conducted a survey in which some 5500 developers responded.  While over 85% developers are very interested to develop for iPhone and 83% for iPad, only 76% developers showed interest in developing an app for Android based phones and 66% for Android tablets. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

The factor which will bother Google more is not the gap with Apple which still shows a competitive rivalry but over the last one year, in each of the four quarters more and more developers lost any interest to develop for Android. In June, 2011, the interests in iPhone and Android was almost the same at 91% and 87% respectively. But since then Apple retained the interest of all its developers whereas Google or Android lost it gradually. The widening gap will not be a welcome news for Google.

chart showing the trend among app developers. Curtsey: techcrunch.com

Our experts and Business head, Mr Vibhu Satpaul held a frank discussion on this topic over a cup of coffee and the the dominant opinion which surfaced was the money factor. Almost all the apps are paid in Apple but in Android, following the open source policy, people want free stuff. If you are offering a paid app, there are several competitors offering equivalent products for free, freeware or the more recent term freemium. Therefore, you can’t earn much by developing apps for Android. Often developers need to depend on the goodwill of the user and look forward to donations. You can’t live on donations, as a developer you want to sell your programming skills and earn yourself all the necessities and comfort money can buy.

There was another reason given, although which wasn’t as strong as the previous one. Android programming is more difficult than programming for iOS. If this opinion is to be believed then Google also need to simplify this process so they don’t lose share further.

You can download the complete survey report here.

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