iOS is Still The Best Choice For Developers

by Ben Bajarin   |   September 9th, 2011

Yesterday The Yankee Group released an interesting set of findings from a research study they conducted. The crux of the article was around how Android app piracy is hurting Android developers. The report claims that because of app piracy on Android, developers are losing up to $10,000 in revenue.

We have known for a while that Android has an issue with malware being brought in through apps and now to add to the issues plaguing developers they now have the added threat of having their software pirated.

Android has always catered to the “tech tinkerer” so it isn’t shocking that these underground app stores exist where you can get any app you want for free.

Google’s lack of control or polices related to the Android Market is one of the biggest weaknesses of the entire Android ecosystem. A quote from the report states:

“Android apps are living in the Wild West without a sheriff,” said Carl Howe, Yankee Group director of research and author of the report “Android Piracy: How Republished Apps Steal Revenue and Increase Costs.” “With five other major mobile OSs competing for consumer dollars, Google can’t afford to simply let pirates kill app developers’ businesses. They need to foster some law and order or developers will flee to other platforms and Android will lose customers.”

The Yankee Group’s survey findings from Android developers parallel our discussions with them as well. Many developers we speak with, who develop apps for both iOS and Android, constantly tell us of their frustration and fear with the Android Market.

This is one of the reasons we think that what Amazon is up to could prove disastrous for the Android Market. If some of our early theoretical analysis is correct, Amazon may be planning to use their fork of Android to entice Android developers away from the Android Market.

From many of the developers we have spoken with who also submit apps to Amazon’s app store we have heard much more positive things. Things like Amazon supports them more, has better recommendation algorithms to help their app get discovered and economic value as well. On top of that Amazon doesn’t accept every app submitted, they do actually have a process for approving quality applications to their store.

Based on much of our own research as well as many new reports like the one from the Yankee Group, we have to conclude that for the time being iOS is still the safer and more reasonable platform for developers to continue to pour resources into developing applications for.

For any platform to be successful it needs to have a robust, thriving and more importantly confident software developer community. Google needs to resolve these issues, take more control and cater more to developers if they want their version of Android to continue to garner support from developers.

To add further support for the argument that iOS is still the best place to focus precious developer resources to, the report also states that iOS consumers download six times more apps than Android consumers. So for the developer there is a 6x better chance of getting their application into the hands of consumers.

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Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research. He is a husband, father, gadget enthusiast, trend spotter, early adopter and hobby farmer. Full Bio
  • http://twitter.com/kleptco Karl Klept

    Android has nearly double the iPhone’s market share. So the way to make iPhone more popular again is to scare consumers and sue manufacturers. Awesome!

    • Anonymous

      Android actually has no where near double market share your data is incorrect. Carriers also give two for one sales on most if not all Android devices. If Apple did a buy one get one free Android would be dead.

      Regardless I am glad there is choice, Google however needs to solve the issues they have with developers and quality of apps.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-H-Frando/685343072 Jim H. Frando

      Android is an OS, iPhone is hardware. Tell you what, go take a look at Samsungs smartphones and tablets pre-iPhone and pre-iPad, then compare Samsung offerings with their post-iPhone and post-iPad offerings. You will realize the blatant copying Samsung executed in order to get their product to look and act like Apple hardware without being Apple hardware. Then you will understand why Apple is sueing, and rightly so, the pants off of Samsung. Why should Apple do all the design and engineering work for Samsung? Are Android handset makers so moronic that they cant design somthing on their own without it looking like an Apple device to simply fool customers into thinking they are buying something that looks and acts like the iPhone or iPad? Get real and get the facts. Do some research before you open your suck.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HRNMG5CQOSXWSHPBC2J2VCLTS4 JLB

      My dear chap, could it be that Apple’s goal is to make the best phone/tablet while Google’s goal is to sell advertising?
      I will NEVER be a Google customer for that reason and if that makes me an “iTard” iMoron” “iSheep” then so be it. At least with Apple the phone is the product, not me.