According to a recent study from Appcelerator and International Data Corporation (IDC), Android fragmentation could be causing a decrease in interest from application developers. The study, conducted every quarter for the past two years, shows that developers are less willing to create new apps for Android due to the extremely diverse device base and the different versions of the Android OS they are running.
As it stands today, 78% of developers are very interested in coding for Android smartphones, while those willing to create apps for Android tablets are just 67%. That’s a drop of 4.7% and 2.2%, respectively.
Although close to or within the margins of error, these drops are consistent with the trend of small but steady erosion in Android interest over the last four quarters, even as enormous growth in Android unit shipments continues.
Android isn’t alone. This quarter also saw another sharp drop in developer interest in BlackBerry OS. Developer interest declined from 20.7% in Q4 2011 to 15.5% in Q1 2012, a drop that is largely due to negative news surrounding the challenges BlackBerry maker RIM faces. Here’s hoping the upcoming BlackBerry 10 can turn this trend around.
Apple’s iOS operating system for iPhone and iPad still looks to be the favorite platform among developers, who took part in the survey. The main reason for that, according to Appcelerator’s Mike King, is the low number of Apple devices released every year and the fact that most of them run the latest version of iOS.
Windows Phone interest has been growing steadily over the last few quarters as Microsoft seems to be starting to generate more and more interest in developers, especially since the debut of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango and also due to the upcoming Windows Phone 8. The long-awaited arrival of the Nokia-manufacturered Windows Phone smartphones has probably played an important part in this as well.
In addition, HTML5, on which Mozilla’s new upcoming Boot to Gecko (B2G) OS is based, has also shown a steep rise in popularity, with 79% of developers on board to develop for the platform.
This study shows how the mobile OS landscape seems to be undergoing some big changes in 2012, and we can’t wait to see how the year progresses!
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