iOS developers abandoning sinking Apple mothership: Biggest drop ever

iOS developers abandoning sinking Apple mothership: Biggest drop ever

Summary: Objective-C popularity has dropped more in the past few months than ever before. Another sign of the applocalypse?


In what may be another sign that Apple's fortunes are on the downward slope, an interesting chart reports that Objective-C popularity has plummeted for the first time in two years, and more than ever before.

Tiobe Software maintains what it calls its TIOBE Programming Community Index, which cross-references language popularity among the professional programming community.

Objective-C, which is the language most used for iOS (and Mac) development, has been skyrocketing since the original iPhone App Store opened. Back in 2011, there was a little over 1 percent drop (among all programmers and all languages). But since around December, Objective-C popularity has dropped by more than 1.5 percent (among all programmers and all languages).

It peaked in December at 11.116 percent, but has now dropped to around 9.5 percent. Off the Apple platforms, C, Java, and C++ still hold the top slots, respectively.

(Image: TIOBE)

Topic: Apple


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Objectionable C

    Call it like it is :-)
    • Awesome suggestion

      Where are the other bits of data to compare just how it is?

      Oh wait, he dumped all that...
  • Different ways to look this...

    Could it also be that developers are finally coming to grips with the fact that Apple and other app stores owners don't actually do 30% of the work on their projects.

    Another way to look at this is that the tooling and frameworks around building iOS apps has caught up, allowing some developers to bypass Objective-C.
    • Many do

      PhoneGap, MonoTouch, Unity, even Flash in Adobe CS.

      Objective C is a fairly primitive language, an attempt to implement some of the same encapsulation objectives as C++ but in a more primitive way (via its messaging system.)
      • primitive?

        Objective C is no more primitive than is C++. It is also much more powerful than C++ in some regards due to its late binding and messaging system.
    • 30% is cheap

      compared to what developers end up paying by selling through retail channels.
      • You can buy apps through retail channels?

        My local Best Buy doesn't have an App Department yet. :/
        • Of course you can

          I can by various Tax apps, business accounting software, etc. from Costco.

          The ability to download software via the internet began the demise of boxed software on shelves at BestBuy, CircuitCity, etc. App stores for tablets finally nailed that coffin shut.

          The meta point, however, is that if you were to open your own store for your own software on your own website, you'd end up paying for customer acquisition, servers/cloud hosting; development, support & maintenance of your system; credit card processing & refunds; license management, etc.

          The app stores do all of this for you for a 20-30% commission. While not cheap, its not unreasonable.
          • not for idevices

            there is Apple only.
          • what about cydiya store????

            Maria Davidenko
        • Yes you can!

          The are sometimes called 'programs'. They are also made by software developers and sold to consumers.

          The retail and distribution cut can easily be over 50% of the sales price.
          • An interesting scenario...

            Somehow, I suspect that most apps worth speaking of are made by companies that already have most of the resources in place. I imagine that if phone / tablet users could just download / install software from the internet, that 99.99% of all developers would prefer to sell their apps that way and skip the middle man who actually doesn't do a whole lot for them.

            The chances of your software succeeding in any market, be it app store, brick and mortar, mail order etc. are very slim if you don't have a web site. Apple isn't going to promote your app for you. You are literally putting your app in a giant sea of apps and hoping it floats. You would be a fool if you didn't promote your app by building a site and at least using seo for organic search if nothing else, but reality is that you need marketing regardless.

            TLDR; The app store does nothing for your product. It is a cash grab for the proprietor and that is it.
          • Let me get this right

            Developers would like to cut out every middleman who does "nothing" and keep all the money for themselves?

            Well tell me what industry wouldn't like to do that. Talk about things that don't even need to be said.

            What does Best Buy do for a developer that the App store doesn't? Nothing and it costs developers a larger percent to sell their products there.

            While I agree that the app stores are a complete trainwreck for visibility of apps, I am certain that having 700,000 websites to represent all of those apps for sale by owner would be magnitudes worse. Not only for visibility, but for sales too. Not to mention having 700,000 repositories to download apps would be a nightmare on several fronts.
    • Right. Because we all know that marketing, storefront

      space server bandwidth, domain hosting, etc. are all free.
      • No

        Not free. But more apps means better platform. Don't play dumb. If it was not for the apps Apple would be struggling to get into the top 5. So Apple is making profit on top of what apps do for it to stay relevant.
      • Please name 10 successful apps that do not have a web site...

        Where are all these wildly successful app makers who have managed to do it all without ever acquiring bandwidth, domain hosting etc...

        They don't exist. Even if your product was a hardware device that blocks out the internet, you would still need w website, hosting and all associated costs. Welcome to the 21st century my friend.
        • Which is a small portion of the overall cost

          but I am sure you know that. You just want to bash Apple. Don't like it don't sell apps through their app store but you might have noticed that there seem to be a few developers that don't see it the same as you.
      • Not so right

        Marketing? What "marketing" is Apple doing for you? In most cases your app is buried with hundreds of others in the same market segment.

        "Server bandwidth, domain hosting, etc. are all free", may be true but that stuf is dirt cheap on the web.
    • all well and good...

      Save that 9 billion dollars sats you are talking out of your rear end.
    • Actually...

      ...the only way to look at this is to ignore Gewirtz's crap article entirely and go to the original website.