Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

Summary: A new survey of mobile app developers shows that Apple and Android are still at the top of the pack when it comes to plans for future apps. But Microsoft has vaulted ahead of BlackBerry to take the third position among phone platforms, and Amazon has a hit on its hands with the Kindle Fire.

SHARE:

Microsoft's massive investments in the Windows Phone platform have gotten the attention of the developer community, according to a new survey from Appcelerator/IDC. The other big winner in the battle for developer mindshare is a product that hasn't been released yet: Amazon's Kindle Fire.

The successful release of the Mango update for Windows Phone and the public announcement of the first wave of devices from the Microsoft/Nokia partnership have vaulted the Windows Phone platform into a clear #3 position among app developers, displacing the hapless BlackBerry platform.

Apple and Android maintain their dominant positions at the top of the mobile phone food chain. Here are some highlights from the survey:

  • "iOS continues to reign at number one in developer interest levels with 91% of respondents saying they are ‘very interested’ in developing for the iPhone, followed by the iPad at 88%.
  • "Android phones fell nearly 4 points to 83% while tablets fell nearly 6 points to 68%."
  • "Windows Phone 7 separated from the pack to become the clear number three mobile platform this quarter. The OS climbed 8 points to 38% of respondents saying they are ‘very interested’ in the platform, the highest ever for Microsoft."
  • "This quarter saw a sharp fall-off in developers reporting that they are ‘very interested’ in RIM offerings with BlackBerry OS phones dropping 7 points to 21% and PlayBook QNX-based tablets dropping 6 points to 13%."

Amazon also looks to have a hit on its hands with the new Kindle Fire, which has a chance to break away from a crowded field of Android tablets. According the survey, 49% of North American developers are "very interested" in the developing apps for the Kindle Fire, "just 4 points less than interest in the iPad (53%) prior to its launch in April 2010."

This chart shows how clearly Windows Phone has separated itself from the rest of the pack in the latest survey:

Chart credit: Appcelerator/IDC

Why the big move? Developers' motives varied depending on region. In Europe and Asia, the Nokia/Microsoft partnership was the top reason. In North America, 31% of respondents cited "upcoming Windows 8 integration / tablet potential" as the biggest draw.

And HTML5 continues to attract developer support, according to the survey, with 66% of developers "very interested" in building HTML5 mobile websites that will (in theory) work on any modern mobile device. That number is unchanged from last quarter.

The challenge for both Microsoft and Amazon is to translate that developer interest into increased sales and share. For Amazon, the proof could come this week, when customers get their hands on the new Kindle Fire. For Microsoft, actual increases in market share for phones will take longer, as devices roll out slowly worldwide. And its position in tablets is still nearly a year away, dependent on Windows 8.

Related posts:

Topics: Software, Amazon, Tablets, Software Development, Operating Systems, Mobility, Microsoft, Laptops, Hardware, Apps, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

30 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

    Hopefully, this means we'll see more native apps for the Windows Phone platform. Not that I have a huge collection of them on my phone (about 15), but most apps I've seen on the marketplace look like junk Android ports, which worries me. I bought a Windows Phone, not an Android.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

      @Cylon Centurion

      The app quality is about right. Windows Phone 7 is junk and the apps are junk right along with it.
      itguy10
      • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

        @itguy10

        You bough a W7 ?

        Ask for a refund
        dazzlingd
      • Said the human with no knowledge of what he is talking about.

        @itguy10

        :|
        Tim Cook
    • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

      @Cylon Centurion

      You bough a W7 ?

      Ask for a refund
      Alan Smithie
      • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

        @Alan Smithie <br><br>As opposed to what? I refuse Apple and Android is garbage in the truest sense of the word.

        Go back to your bridge.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

        @Alan Smithie

        I have a Droid X and as soon as soon contract is up, I'll be getting a WP7 based device.
        bigjon-x64
  • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

    Windows Phone 7 offers the most potential right now for developers. Its market is not saturated with duplicate or useless apps. Its where the money is if you are a new app developer.
    LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
    • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

      @LoverockDavidson_

      You hit it square on the head. Take a look at the Apple app store and there has to be 9 duplicate apps for every original one, same for Android.

      Windows offers developers a much closer tie between mobile and the desktop (read that as business apps) and that is going to be the driving force behind rapid development.

      I really don't care if "Angery Birds" is ever ported... ;-)
      NoAxToGrind
      • Funny that. Back in the day one of the reasons people

        @NoAxToGrind ... often claimed they bought a PC rather than a Mac was the lack of games on the Mac. Now that a device that Apple is selling has plenty of games and or Apps those factors are no longer important. I remember getting into arguments about quantity vs quality (Programs available for both platforms) as well with my PC brethren. Very funny how things tend to change with time and circumstances.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

        @NoAxToGrind
        Agreed, no more tip calculators or flashlight apps need to be developed for Apple.
        LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
      • Changed in what way, James Quinn?

        @James Quinn<br>On a PC there are many variations of games and programs, with price points that reflect those capabilities or features.<br><br>If there are fifty-seven 99 cent tip calculators for the iPhone, probability dictates that they are effectivly quite similar apps, with quite similar capabilities to match, so in truth nothing has really changed, and adds weight to Cylon Centurion's statement.
        :|
        Tim Cook
    • Visual blindness

      The problem is, it is also where a city-sized group of developers already live. Who has a larger group of developers -- already familiar with the tools -- than Microsoft? So if I'm a "mobile apps developer," I'm going to stay as far away from that action as I can. It's "win win": Microsoft gets apps, the Windows developers get to sell more stuff, and so do I because I don't have to worry that I'll be squashed like a bug for wandering onto the Windows stage without a helmet.
      Robert Hahn
      • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

        @Robert Hahn
        You'd rather get squashed elsewhere like with Apple or Android app stores that are already full? Windows apps store is where you want to be. Yes, Microsoft has a developers since they are a software maker. They provide the OS, the apps are totally up to you to write.
        LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
    • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

      @LoverockDavidson

      It isn't saturated yet with useless duplicate apps but with popularity it might. There's no guarantee the app store will stay "pure" from crap apps as popularity increases and it will increase with the release of Windows 8.
      smulji
      • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

        @smulji ...But this is why you get in on the 'land grab' now. The platform is wide open at this point, and most advantageous to ensure that your app will be seen by early adopters, get ratings and feedback, so when the consumer count increases, they will be more likely to look at your app instead of one just released on the market.
        1019902735
      • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

        @smulji
        You might have misread my statements. That is exactly what I said, the WP7 market is not saturated with apps like you would find with other mobile markets.
        LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
  • RE: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire make big gains among mobile app developers

    Can't wait to see all the apps that the Kindle Fire will have. Ships today!

    http://www.squidoo.com/the-new-kindle-fire
    bman227
  • BEWARE! This is a highly misleading survey.

    BEWARE! This is a highly misleading survey.<br><br>I quote from this comment about a previous Appcelerator /IDC survey<br><br>mrrtmrrt<br><br><br>"These survey results are not at all representative of iOS developers as a whole as the vast majority use Apple's Xcode to write iOS apps, not the software sold by the company that ran this survey.<br><br>Appcelerator's survey subjects are part of a small minority of developers who are using the Appcelerator Titanium cross-platform development tools which are used in 4,000 iOS apps, which amounts to only 1-2% of the 300,000 apps in the App Store. Not that long ago, Appcelerator was banned from the iOS App store as were other cross-platform environments so what is surprising is that these particular devs were not far more negative towards Apple.<br><br>A previous study a few months back by AppStore HQ of every published iPhone, iPad and Android developer currently in the Apple App Store or Android Market demonstrated that there is only a tiny percentage of developers engaged writing software for both Android and iOS:<br><br>iOS developers = 43,185<br>Android developers = 10,199<br>iOS & Android devs = 1,412<br><br>As only 3% of iOS developers target both iOS and Android, it is quite inappropriate to assume that these cross-platform Appcelerator customers represent the views of the much larger iOS development community.<br><br>By buying Appcelerator's software these developers were already planning on developing cross-platform and thus represent a completely biased sample which cannot be extrapolated to the rest of the iOS dev community.<br><br>Other data strongly suggests the opposite of what Appcelerator reports - that iOS continues to garner far more dev interest than Android because that is where the money is. For example, Larva Labs found that "Overall we estimate that $6,000,000 has been paid out to developers for games, and $15,000,000 has been paid out on apps. That is a total of $21,000,000, nearly 1/50th the amount paid out to devs on iPhone. This really indicates how much of a cottage industry the paid Android Market remains, with insufficient sales numbers to warrant full-time labor for paid content."<br><br>Then there is AppBrain's findings that over 45,000 of the 100,000 apps in the Android Marketplace are spam apps.<br><br>As such, these survey results are not very useful at all."<br><br>-Mart<br>Like<br>9 months ago<br> <br><a href="http://betanews.com/2011/01/25/idc-developer-interest-in-android-nearly-equals-ios/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://betanews.com/2011/01/25/idc-developer-interest-in-android-nearly-equals-ios/</a>
    Secular Investor
    • Your smears are unfounded

      @Secular Investor

      91% of those surveyed said they are "very interested" in developing for iOS. So where is the bias?

      Anyway, your attempt to smear the source is misguided. Appcelerator is #1 third-party app developer in both Android and Apple stores and has a string of hits.

      "Appcelerator applications have been in the top 10 in almost every major category. NBC iPad hit #1 in the Apple App Store in September, Wunderlist and GetGlue each have over 1 million downloads, and Hotel Tonight and Trip Lingo have seen major success in the travel category."

      http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/press-releases/appcelerator-closes-15m
      Ed Bott