Latest Data Shows Developer Interest in Android Waning

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 20, 2012

The results of a new survey from market research firm IDC, done in conjunction with mobile development and services company Appcelerator, show that developers may have waning interest in the Android platform. Appcelerator surveys developers on a quarterly basis and this is the second quarter in a row where developers have expressed declining interest in Android. Specifically, 83.3 percent of developers surveyed last quarter said they were "very interested" in Android, while 78.6 percent of respondents said the same thing this quarter. The results fly in the face of some other data showing developer interest in Android on the rise.

The latest study from Appcelerator and IDC polled 2,173 developers and fragmentation of the Android platform has been cited as one reason for the decline in developer interest. 

As we reported here, a recent report from Ovum Research predicted that Android will replace Apple's iOS as the most important platform to developers over the next 12 months. And, even the IDC/Appcelerator survey shows that overall interest in Android is still high. But IDC and Appcelerator continue to find that developer interest is declining.

Notably, Ovum' survey also revealed changes in cross-platform development trends:

"The research also shows a move away from traditional cross-platform mobile application development approaches (e.g. Java, Flash, WAP). Instead, developers are focusing their efforts on web-based standards (e.g. HTML5), which seem to be the preferred approach to building cross-platform applications."

These findings on HTML5 line up with results from the IDC/Appcelerator survey, as reported here:

"Key findings reveal that HTML5 will play a growing role in the mobile apps space in 2012, with 79% of developers saying they plan to integrate some HTML5 into their mobile apps that they build this year. This quarter’s survey also uncovered very different perceptions among developers regarding the emerging social battle between Facebook and Google. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of developers say that the network effects of Google’s broad range of assets are more important to their social strategies in 2012 than Facebook’s social graph."

The IDC/Appcelerator findings also showed that developer interest in Android tablets is well behind interest in Android smartphones. One thing to factor into all of these findings, though, is that Google--through the Motorola Mobility acquisition--is about to become a huge player in Android handsets. Without a doubt, that could have a huge impact on developers going forward.