During the Le Web technology conference held recently in Paris, France, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt took to the stage to lay out some predictions on how developers will favor Android over iOS before 2012 is finished. He said that within six month’s time, developers will be releasing apps for Android before iOS due to the sheer volume of Android devices out there. Flurry sees it differently.
Flurry is a mobile app analytics firm that has their hands on data from just about every popular smartphone OS on the market. So far, over 55,000 companies have used Flurry Analytics across more than 135,000 applications. Developers use Flurry’s analytical data before apps are initially shipped (for a number of reasons), so the company has a good idea of what platforms developers are going to be supporting out of the gate.
Flurry has collected the data from 55,000 apps that were started in 2011 and organized which platform they were developed for by quarter. While Android developer support has steadily declined (save for a small 2% uptick in Q4) throughout the year, iOS development has exploded. In Q4 2011, 73% of developers using Flurry were making apps for iOS first.
Of course this data comes from developers using Flurry, not all apps in general. Still, Flurry Analytics “powers approximately 25% of all apps downloaded from the App Store and Android Market combined.” There’s good reason to believe that Flurry’s data is an accurate description of the market. Especially once you factor in money.
Schmidt’s prediction that developers will support Android first is related to how many Android devices are out there. Not how much money apps are making. By taking a look at in-app purchases in some top apps across Android and iOS, you can see just how much more money iOS users are putting into their apps. According to Flurry, iOS developers make around three to four times as much money with iOS apps. On average, “for every $1.00 generated on iOS, the same app will generate $0.24 on Android.”
Google is certainly headed in the right direction with the Android Market, but it’s going to take a lot more than sheer volume to secure immediate developer support. Until the money is on Android’s side, iOS is going to stay the go-to platform.