Consumers and developers have spoken via surveys, and Apple and Google's Android rule the smartphone roost on both the consumer and developer side of the equation. However, sentiment surveys tend to be fickle.
Typically, consumer sentiment surveys on Wall Street vary based on everything from headlines, global instability, fuel prices and unemployment. Multiple factors go into whether a consumer feels good or not.
Smartphone surveys aren't as complicated, but a few bad headlines about Motorola's Xoom can get consumers to back off Android a bit. Apple's enthusiasm may vary based on worries about tracking data. Sentiment is a complicated brew.
With that in mind, Tuesday's data provided some insight into the state of the smartphone market.
We'll start with the consumer side of the equation, since developers follow the users and the money that goes with making apps for a large crowd.
Nielsen reports that Android smartphones have edged out Apple as the preferred OS among device buyers. According to Nielsen's latest data, 31 per cent of consumers planning to buy a smartphone said thatAndroid was their preferred OS. Apple's iOS slipped to 30 per cent with RIM down to 11 per cent. About 20 per cent of consumers are up for grabs.
Next desired operating system results (Credit: Neilsen)
Nielsen also reports that 50 per cent of recent smartphone acquirers bought an Android device. The Apple iOS was bought by 25 per cent, followed by RIM (15 per cent) and Microsoft Windows (7 per cent).
On the developer side of the smartphone equation, Appcelerator and IDC rolled out the results of their joint survey. In a nutshell:
- Developers are focusing on Apple over worries about Android fragmentation. Ninety one per cent of developers are very interested in the iPhone, and 86 per cent are very interested in the iPad.
- Developers are worried about Android's ability to power tablets. Developer interest in Android phones was cited by 85 per cent of the 2700 respondents and tablets came in at 71 per cent. Fragmentation, weak traction in tablets and multiple Android stores were cited as risks.
- Only 29 per cent of developers were very interested in Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry interest was 27 per cent.
- Microsoft is a distant number three platform among developers.
Smartphone sentiment amongst developers (Credit: Appcelerator/IDC)
What could change the developer equation? Apple could get more market share if Android tablets continue to falter. Nokia could give Windows Phone 7 a lift. However, all developers are strapped for time and resources.
The overall conundrum: there's a chicken and egg issue in smartphones and consumer interest, while money is likely to stoke developer interest.
Via ZDNet US