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iOS Developers Embracing Alternative Mobile Platforms, Shying Away From Mac


Fortune reports on a new survey conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference last week in which he surveyed a number of developer attendees to gain an understanding of their development interests. Interestingly, nearly half of the 45 developers surveyed reported that they are also developing for Android, while only a third revealed that they are developing BlackBerry applications.

Only 7% of surveyed developers reported that they are also developing for OS X, indicating that Apple's new Mac App Store and integrated Xcode development tools still have a significant market on the OS X side that remains untapped. A full 93% of iPhone developers unsurprisingly reported also developing for iPad, tapping into the rapidly-growing tablet market as a natural extension of their iPhone and iPod touch businesses.

While the developers unsurprisingly (given their attendance at WWDC) unanimously chose iOS as the platform that is easiest for development and best for monetization, only approximately half of the developers regarded iOS as having the highest growth potential. Even among these dedicated iOS developers, 40% of respondents cited Android as having the highest potential for future growth.

Munster attempts to compare his results to a similar survey of 20 developers conducted at WWDC 2008, but with only a handful of results from that earlier survey providing little detail and the wholesale changes in iOS and the smartphone industry since that time, it is difficult to make comparisons. For example, iOS developer interest in the Mac platform appears to have plummeted from 50% to 7% over the past three years, but it is important to remember the context of 2008 when Apple was just launching the App Store and iOS developers were commonly Mac developers who had begun dabbling in iOS applications. The reverse is now true, with over 400,000 iOS applications available and a number of developers finding that iOS development is a sustainable business on its own.



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103 months ago
This is a crap survey. Only 20 people in 2007 and 45 people this year? Thats a TINY sample size.. not even big enough to make these statistics significant.
Rating: 42 Votes
103 months ago

This is a crap survey. Only 20 people in 2007 and 45 people this year? Thats a TINY sample size.. not even big enough to make these statistics significant.


I couldn't agree more. How many apps are out there and they only polled 45 people. Give me a freaking break.
Rating: 8 Votes
103 months ago

This is a crap survey. Only 20 people in 2007 and 45 people this year? Thats a TINY sample size.. not even big enough to make these statistics significant.


Exactly.

I can't believe that serious sites like Fortune publish such crap from Gene Munster.

A 20 or 45 people sample does not mean ANYTHING. But what is even stupider is using percentages on a sample inferior to 100.

Gene Munster, maybe you should look for another job.
Rating: 7 Votes
103 months ago
If I'd have written a statistical analysis like this for my dissertation. I'd be out on my arse right now.

Misleading headline based on a ***** survey.
Rating: 7 Votes
103 months ago

This is a crap survey. Only 20 people in 2007 and 45 people this year? Thats a TINY sample size.. not even big enough to make these statistics significant.


Exactly. MacRumors, your story should be about how these idiots asked a handful of people and are now reporting it as fact, not just blindly reporting it. Check out this calculator that can be used to determine a statistically valid sample: http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm
Rating: 6 Votes
103 months ago

I'm pro-Macintosh .. hello?


Hello. :)

Apple is pretty decent at making sucessful products, but it doesn't make a lot of them. The Macintosh, the iPod and the iOS are the only successful Apple products. Everything else, every single thing made by Apple has been a failure. Even while Steve Jobs has been at the helm. Both times.


Forgive me, but that did sound a lot like a religious anti-Apple statement. You know, I could say that the Beatles didn't have a lot of successful products — only some songs, and everything else (the films, Apple Records, whatever) was a failure. There may be some truth in that, but my choice of words would be a pretty blatant misrepresentation of the band's success and influence. Wouldn't you agree?
Rating: 6 Votes
103 months ago
Wrong interpretation.

Higher iOS developer ratio doesn't mean they are "Shying Away From Mac"

Example

3 iOS dev
1 mac dev
25% mac developer

With an increase in both developer count it could be like this:

95 ios dev
5 mac dev
5% mac developer

Omg Mac is doomed. In reality, the ratio between the two don't tell anything.
Rating: 6 Votes
103 months ago
No figures for 2009/2010?
Rating: 5 Votes
103 months ago

This is a crap survey. Only 20 people in 2007 and 45 people this year? Thats a TINY sample size.. not even big enough to make these statistics significant.


Exactly. I thought there are over 300K registered iOS developers.

We have been looking and talking about the idea of porting our app to other mobile platforms. There still seems to be an issue of whether you can make any money on Android. A good example is Rovio, where angry birds is free on android but 99 cents on iOS:

“Free is the way to go with Android. Nobody has been successful selling content on Android. We will offer a way to remove the ads by paying for the app, but we don’t expect that to be a huge revenue stream.”

Read the full interview (http://technmarketing.com/iphone/peter-vesterbacka-maker-of-angry-birds-talks-about-the-birds-apple-android-nokia-and-palmhp/)

While Android cant be ignored, we are finding it hard to justify the time its going to take to develop an app that we want to make a profit on on the Android market. Our app is a business app.

Of all the other platforms though, Blackberry is most appealing because of their enterprise user base, though it seems to be shrinking according to this article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/federal-government-loosens-its-grip-on-the-blackberry/2011/05/27/AG7wW1EH_story.html).
Rating: 5 Votes
103 months ago

Wrong. They are markers. Guideposts that point us in the direction tech is headed. They form the basis of the strategies of a lot of major tech players (i.e., Motorola, Samsung, HTC, RIM.) The iPad demo (and its current success) is really a watershed moment for the industry at large.


It points us in the direction where portable tech is headed and not PCs. It forms the basis of strategies of major mobile tech companies. PCs are still used for professional work like audio, video, business, scientific research etc. Casual things like browsing, email, SNS which were done on PCs are now done on tablets and thats the only thing that iPad has changed.

LOL, that's some "toy." For some reason they seem to do more and more with each passing month. It's quite astounding.


It is gaining more capability but nowhere sufficient to replace full-fledged PCs. iWork, Adobe apps, etc will never be a substitute for Microsoft Office, Adobe CS5 and other desktop applications. iPad was never designed to replace PCs in the first place. It doesn't make sense to talk about it. Apple lost the PC war long ago, its a fact. Apple's success or mobile companies working hard on tablets seeing Apple's iPad has got nothing to do with it.


It's Apple who called this the "Post PC" world. While much cannot be gleaned from the survey in the OP (as stated many times above), I'm not sure why an iOS developer would want to make the jump over to Mac when it's clear that Apple thinks computers are on their way out. "PC free" and "Post PC" were two key phrases from this year's WWDC (not to mention that Jobs said they are going to "demote" the computer to be just another device for iCloud). I didn't hear any "boos" when any of these were mentioned.

I'd really like to be able to have an iPad as a laptop replacement, but it just can't fit my work needs (it doesn't even have a full-featured word processor). There is NO way the i-devices are ready for primetime as a replacement for doing actual work for the vast majority of people.

But were it not for work, I'd sure be tempted to ditch my laptop for an iPad, as I'm sure many are doing. If Steve Jobs makes it clear that PCs -- presumably including Macs -- are on the way out, and Apple continue(s) the secrecy that they're known for about future plans, why switch to developing for Macs? What if Lion turns out to be their last true desktop OS?

I very much *WANT* developers to stay on the Mac for many years to come, but with the signals being sent by the media and Apple about the impending downfall of PCs, I'm not hopeful for much new in terms of development for the Mac.


Steve Jobs is pushing this post-PC thing because they lost the PC war. Its clearly evident iPad is not meant for real work. Computer finds extensive use in every field, I don't think they will go anytime soon. What may happen is PCs/Macs will get restricted to professional work. This is also unlikely because many people prefer PC/Mac over tablets because of bigger screen and functionality.
Rating: 4 Votes

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