IDC: iOS Widens Lead Over Android Among Mobile Enterprise Developers [Charts]

IDC: iOS Widens Lead Over Android Among Mobile Enterprise Developers [Charts]

Summary: IDC has been surveying mobile developers for the past two years. In mid-May, it polled more than 3,500 developers in a survey sponsored by platform vendor and SAP partner, Appcelerator, to gauge their feelings about Apple versus Google in the enterprise, their interest in Windows 8/Microsoft Surface, what their pain points are, and more. Here is what they said, with my commentary.


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  • Fragmentation Hurts

    Mobile is a young technology flooded with vendors, so it's not surprising that five out of the six biggest pain points for developers are related to having too much choice, fragmentation and/or complexity. It doesn't have to be that way, of course. Some platforms can hide complexity and enable developers to write apps faster and better as a result.

  • Can Intel Catch Up In Post-PC Devices?

    Virtually all smartphones and tablets today run ARM chips. With the rise of the post-PC era, Intel is in real danger. It needs to woo both device makers as well as developers to its side. To do so, developers want assurances that their apps will run the same on x86 chips as on ARM with minimal time and rewriting required. A little financial sweetener wouldn't hurt, either.

Topics: ÜberTech, Android, Cloud, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Mobile OS, ARM

Eric Lai

About Eric Lai

I have tracked technology for more than 15 years, as an award-winning journalist and now as in-house thought leader on the mobile enterprise for SAP. Follow me here at ÜberMobile as well as my even less-filtered musings on Twitter @ericylai

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  • I'm goin' mo-bile

    This looks terrible for Windows, until you realize that surveying "mobile developers" isn't going to capture many Windows developers. Microsoft hasn't exactly been the go-to company for mobile lately.

    Microsoft has its own stable of developers, and they'll turn into mobile developers as Microsoft's mobile products gain some traction. Do this survey again next year and the Munchkins will be tooting their horns about how many mobile developers are now working on Windows. They'll be the same guys who are working on Windows now, and have been working on Windows for ten years, it's just that next year they'll be "mobile developers."
    Robert Hahn
    • @Robert Hahn

      I agree with your comments. Also, figure into this story the fact that Windows 8 & Windows Phone 8 will offer very, very similar and familiar platforms, languages and dev tools that means 95% of code can be the same between the two platforms, and the number one issue presented by this report will be comprehensively dealt with.
      • It sounds good. But it's stupid.

        I presume you are referring to the 65% who want to present "a consistent experience across smartphones, tablets, and PCs." That is something that Microsoft has been tooting their horn about, but ask yourself this question: isn't that the stupidest thing you ever heard?

        Do you have a phone? Do you have a PC? Can you think of any possible reason why you would want the PC version of an app to be limited to what the developer could fit on the screen of a phone? Sure, the developer would like to write it once and run it everywhere. But does any user want phone apps on their dual 24" monitors?
        Robert Hahn
        • So you have not used Windows 8 or Windows phone either

          You need to try Windows 8 and Windows Phone to see how Microsoft has dealt with this issue. Its not fitting Phone UI on Desktop or vice versa but how to leverage hardware differences but keep the philosophy same. The API are similar, but not the same for UI so not huge change for porting applications to one another.
          • I have used Windows Phone

            Of course, not WP8, because that simply does not exist yet.

            Bad experience for me! Perhaps some might like it, or try to like it, because it comes from Microsoft and one must be loyal etc (whatever the excuses are), but I just don't care: it either works for me, or it doesn't. WP requires me to do more touching, searching, scrolling to do basic tasks done than any other mobile platform (hint: I have been long time Nokia user and am apparently spoiled by their simple and very effective UIs... until they married Microsoft, that is).

            Here I completely agree with Robert Hahn: the UI should not be the same. It is in fact, not possible to be the same. It is stupid to be the same. The underlying APIs and OS could be the same, but... what is important in this 21st century times is that *protocols* are the same so that the device is compatible with others, no matter what form factor, OS, or make they are. This is what sells the platform for me, nothing else.
        • @ Robert Hahn

          Win32 platform threw out Unix platform as the go-to product for enterprise client-server productivity applications atleast till Java layer creeped in to an extent. And that includes inter-pc device communication. Check any enterprise today - client PCs talk to data center or enterprise servers and also share data with other PCs. Much the same - iPad shows mobility can be productive but it does not cover all mobile-to-mobile producitivity scenarios yet. Win8, I think, will initiate that conversation.

          Imagine a phone app that you carry in your pocket on the bus which you use your stylus to initiate a meeting data input and then carry that input data feed into the same application shared over a wifi link based protocol onto your 10" or larger inch tablet device or laptop device or even touch monitor PC. Think about it - the productivity applications that can enhance a tablet or desktop PC processing algorithms from massively increased data inputs arising out of all sorts of touch scenarios will change the data analysis industry enormously.

          I actually think the biggest winner in the mobile industry in the long term will be a company or companies in the data processing industry - like Oracle or Microsoft or IBM. They are the ones that will need to enhance their data processing algorithms for newer kinds of client interactions - both structured and unstructured types. Even the data warehouse industry like Teradata, Informatica etc will be impacted in a big way.

          Or it could happen that Apple will enter the data analysis industry itself and become an enterprise player itself. I mean imagine the gazillions of data inputs that an iPad can become suitable for and provide for. The possibilities have just started and are limitless. But it also depends a lot on how serious Apple is in changing the traditional database industry and application server industry. Further this mobile trend combines with the ongoing started trend of moving more data to the Server side which is also called Cloud computing. And making that data sharable across multiple devices. So multiple client-multiple server with unshared data paradigm is becoming multiple client-multiple server with shared data. Which is where mobile will become one more client input.
          • @ Robert Hahn

            You seem like a hardware guy. You talked about IDE and PCIE in one of our previous conversations.

            Much the same way as multilple buses can exist to serve the same purpose (ISA, PCI etc), think of how multiple UI can exist all to serve the same application. So it is a shared application with shared data that uses different but similar UI elements for data input events on devices that only look different in size and processing power - that is - a different form factor.

            That was Bill Gates vision a decade ago and Microsoft now is still chasing it.

            I am not saying what you wrote can be correct but Microsoft has a vision and that technology vision of being able to do 'continuous' computing using a form factor device that changes based on your spatial and temporal placement is something I really appreciate - I mean it is tedious if it can be imagined. I would love to add the Perceptive Pixel screens to my wall too for that purpose but that would be me.

            But Microsoft can all this off only if they develop and present that productivity vision. And they are not doing it. They are presenting it as a consumer OS. And that battle was already lost. Consumers do not need massive sharing of data. For that purpose, an iPad is more than enough. Microsoft is late to the consumer area but it has a fighting and great chance at how people do computing in businesses and enterprises. This is their biggest chance of kicking out all old Unix and IBM wares, in reality.
          • Stock hasn't gone up in years

            I don't doubt that Microsoft will do very well selling their products to enterprise customers. That's where their sales force is, and that's where the product requirements come from that drive development. It's all a big happy family.

            But as you've noticed, the emphasis on productivity does not exert the same attraction on consumer markets. The reason we see Microsoft -talking about- consumer markets is that the securities analysts continually beat Ballmer up about the lack of growth. If Microsoft sells Windows 8 tablets to corporate customers that otherwise would have bought Windows laptops, they haven't really gained anything. They've "entered the tablet market," but there's still no growth. Yet when you ask them to show you their consumer offerings, they show you "full-fledged Windows computers" full of "productivity tools" like Office. You know what? They don't get it. They may well have a vision, but it isn't telling them why 100 million people have bought an iPad. It's just another vision of how to sell stuff to IT directors.
            Robert Hahn
          • Yes, we know. Microsoft is obviously doomed.

            They might as well quit because a Microsoft hating idiot on the internet says they're doomed.

            As for the stock you clueless clown, Microsoft has 10 times as many outstanding shares as Apple, and the stock has split on more than one occasion. I don't know why I'm bothering because you don't understand it. Here's the deal. It's harder for a stock like that to go up. Of course Microsoft's poor leadership, in-fighting, and late to market approach hasn't helped. But please stop with the idiotic arguments about why Microsoft is going to fail, because you haven't made one credible argument. Just another dumbass fanboy.

            "If Microsoft sells Windows 8 tablets to corporate customers that otherwise would have bought Windows laptops, they haven't really gained anything. They've "entered the tablet market," but there's still no growth."

            LOL! This is one monumentally stupid statement, as well as being complete BS. If Microsoft has no market share in tablets, and sells 5 million Windows 8 tablets, that's growth you idiot. It doesn't matter who it's sold to. Growth is not determined by who you sell the product to. If you have no sales, and then you make one sale, that is growth. You are dangerously stupid. You don't even understand what the word "growth" means. I don't hear blind Apple sycophants like you scoffing at iPads being sold to the enterprise.

            Good God, why bother.
          • And your father smelt of elderberries

            Stealing unit sales from your own hardware partners is not growth. It is moving a Windows license from one column to another. I return your insults and blow the entire contents of my nose at you as well.
            Robert Hahn
          • You could not be more far off

            I stopped at your introductory sentence "Win32 platform threw out Unix platform...."

            You could not be more wrong.

            You are an example of someone completely brainwashed by Microsoft.

            Ever heard of communication protocols? Ever wondered why Internet exists?
            (hint: it is not in order for you to visit web sites)

            Any company, that has decided to base their entire operation on Windows (technologies) deserve what they get at some point.
            Remember when Microsoft, taking the example of Novel earlier, attempted to convince everyone they should use their very own NetBIOS protocol instead of TCP/IP? Right, they ended up supporting Novels IPX and TCP/IP. The world is bigger.

            What you describe, does not require Windows. It does not require Microsoft, as well. All it takes is the use of standardized protocols. Nobody cares if the mobile device is made by Apple or Microsoft, or General Motors, all people care is if supports the required protocols.

            Incidentally, Apple does not have to enter any of the "data processing" industries. They can continue building universal terminals, that support the protocols of the day -- and still they will be more profitable than the specialized niche companies, because their products will be used for more purposes and will be easier to be recommended for purchase.
          • LOL!

            You're a Microsoft hating twat that's been brainwashed by Apple's BS! That's not uncommon for sheep like you. So do me a favor and shut up. Everything you post is complete BS!
          • Tissue?

            While it is amusing to see that we have so thoroughly gotten your goat, you do seem to have completely lost it. Why not take a couple Valium and call us in the morning? Ya jackwagon.
            Robert Hahn
        • Oh Lord!

          Your comments are ignorant and stupid. In fact, you're too stupid to even waste my time with.
        • Oh Lord!

          Your comments are ignorant and stupid. In fact, you're too stupid to even waste my time with.
  • LOL! This entire article is a waste of space.

    Appcelerator does not even support Windows Phone, so any developer data they try to provide with respect to Windows Phone is completely and utterly worthless.
    • This is a general developer survey by IDC, not just Appcelerator developers

      Appcelerator merely sponsored this latest survey.
  • Full Appcelerator/IDC report

    Those who are interested can download the full report here:
  • Appcelerator/IDC Full Report

    Those who are interested can download the full report here:
  • Windows 8 for Home Users

    If Microsoft had created a version of Windows 8 intended for home users, they could probably remove a lot of the services that are available for Vista/W7/W8. I imagine that a lot of business is going to i OS and Android since their devices seem to be snappier even with a lot less resources available. My Netbook that I have installed Android ICS on it works a lot faster with that O/S that the original W7 that I had been using. The net effect is that for the past few months, I have only used the Android O/S. W7 on the Netbook even with an N550 processor (with Hyper-threading) and 2 gig of ram is painfully slow while Android is a lot more enjoyable to use. I have a Firewall and Anti Virus installed, and so far that doesn't seem to slow it down much. I like W7 when I have a more powerful machine to use, but Android is more enjoyable especially if you have a lower powered device. I have never been interested in an i OS device because of the "Apple Tax" that applies to those devices. To Summarize, I don't think that I will buy a W8 Tablet!!!!