Q4 2011 Mobile Developer Report

spanflockInternet and Web Development

Jun 24, 2012 (4 years and 4 months ago)


Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
Appcelerator / IDC
Q4 2011 Mobile Developer Report
Appcelerator and IDC surveyed 2,160 Appcelerator Titanium developers from November 2-3, 2011 on perceptions
surrounding mobile OS trends and priorities. Findings reveal that Amazon’s new Kindle Fire edged Samsung Galaxy
Tab as the leading Android Tablet in North America, on par with interest for the iPad prior to its launch in April 2010,
and second only to the Galaxy Tab globally with developers. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 also decisively moved
ahead of RIM’s BlackBerry OS to become the clear number three mobile OS behind iOS and Android. Appcelerator
and IDC also continued their research into how companies are making the move from the web to mobile. This
quarter, the report dives deep into understanding the priorities companies are making with their mobile strategy
and how mobile is fundamentally transforming customer relationships.
The Rise of Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung … and An Improved Outlook for Nokia
As the mobile industry advances, contenders are finding success by securing new footholds and partnerships to
compete against Apple’s dominance. Amazon announced the Kindle Fire, a smaller, cheaper Android-based tablet
that leverages its large content library while Microsoft’s Window’s Phone 7 is building strong European developer
enthusiasm thanks to its Nokia partnership. Developers and businesses gave high marks to these strong moves,
which contrast sharply against BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry’s QNX-based PlayBook, and webOS, all of which collapsed
in interest with developers this past quarter. Below are the topline findings from this quarter’s report:
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
• Amazon’s new Kindle Fire ignites developer interest. When surveyed among 15 Android tablets, the low-
cost, content-rich eReader was second only to the Samsung Galaxy Tab globally in developer interest.

A regional breakdown shows Amazon edging Samsung in North America for the top slot. At 49% very
interested in North America,
the Kindle Fire is just 4 points less than interest in the iPad (53%) prior to

its launch in April 2010.
• Appcelerator and IDC found in January 2011 that among developers price was the single most important
factor for Android tablets to compete successfully against the iPad. Fast forward to November 2011 and
developers cite price again as the leading reason for interest in the Kindle Fire. Rounding out the top 5
tablets, respondents eye Amazon’s rich content ecosystem, Appstore, target demographic, and eCommerce
integration as the key reasons for interest in the new eReader.
• When considering Kindle Fire’s potential drawbacks, fragmentation and lack of features like camera and
geo-location were the two top concerns cited by developers. Assuming Amazon sells well this holiday
season, Android developers will need to consider yet another set of different capabilities. The difference this
time? Google will be less able to exert control over Amazon’s divergent Android path.
• Windows Phone 7 separated from the pack to become the clear number three mobile platform this quarter.
The OS climbed 8 points to 38% of respondents saying they are ‘very interested’ in the platform, the highest
ever for Microsoft.
• Microsoft is enjoying symbiotic success with Nokia. When asked why developers are more interested in
Windows Phone 7 now than a year ago, a plurality (48%) said it was the Microsoft/Nokia partnership.

Nokia also received high marks from its new Lumia Windows Phone 7 smartphone announcement last
month, with 28% of developers saying they are ‘very interested’ in developing for the device. This is more
than double the interest in Nokia’s own Symbian and MeeGo OSes since Appcelerator began reporting
mobile platform interest in January 2010.
• This quarter saw a sharp fall-off in developers reporting that they are ‘very interested’ in RIM offerings with
BlackBerry OS phones dropping 7 points to 21% and PlayBook QNX-based tablets dropping 6 points to
13%. Put another way, there’s now more interest in Nokia’s new Lumia Windows Phone lineup than RIM’s
• HTML5 continues to keep developer interest. Sixty-six percent of developers are very interested in building
HTML5 mobile websites, the same as last quarter.
• Connected TV app development interest continues to slide. A year ago, 44% of developers were very
interested in developing for Google TV. Even with a second version announced last month, only 20%
expressed the same enthusiasm for Google TV this round. However Apple TV saw a smaller decline from
40% a year ago to 27% today.
• iOS continues to reign at number one in developer interest levels
with 91% of respondents saying they

are ‘very interested’ in developing for the iPhone, followed by the iPad at 88%. Apple continued to hold

onto its number one position in part due to iOS 5, which was cited as the most significant announcement
this past quarter.
• Android phones fell nearly 4 points to 83% while tablets fell nearly 6 points to 68%. While the drop
was likely due in part to interest in iOS 5, developers nevertheless saw Samsung’s rise to the number one
smartphone manufacturer as the second most significant development of the past quarter after iOS 5.
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
A Deeper Look at Mobile Priorities Across the Mobile Relationship Lifecycle
Over the past couple quarters, Appcelerator and IDC have been analyzing how businesses are making the move from
the web to mobile. Earlier this year, we discussed how companies were maturing through several phases of adoption.
This quarter, we asked developers and businesses to rank 23 mobile objectives for their most recent application. We
then clustered this analysis into what we call the ‘mobile relationship lifecycle’ to define objectives in 4 areas: reach,
engagement, loyalty, and monetization.
Reach: Businesses view deploying to multiple devices with native applications and mobile
websites as the number one priority. Making the transition more efficient by leveraging a
company’s resources also ranked high.
Engagement: Building applications that are easy-to-use with a native user interface was the next
most important objective, followed by application performance. Both are seen as key to driving
engagement with users and echo the general sentiment that application utility is critical. These
core concerns trumped even media, location and social features in priority.
Loyalty: Application notifications and using analytics to measure application feature usage ranked
in the middle of the pack for most respondents.
Monetization: Advertising still trumps in-application purchasing as a preferred monetization
model. When it comes to mobile commerce, the top priority is making payments easy.
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
Amazon Kindle Fire Lights Up
Android Tablet Developers
This quarter, we polled developer interest on 15 currently shipping Android devices to determine which devices are
separating from the pack and how eReaders like the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble NOOK are changing the game:
Worldwide, the Kindle Fire came in second behind Samsung’s Galaxy Tab as developer’s most preferred Android tablet.
Appcelerator and IDC then looked at a regional breakdown to see how the results changed:
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
In North America, the Kindle Fire edges out the Galaxy Tab, while Samsung ranks higher than Amazon in Europe and
considerably higher in Asia. At 49% ‘very interested’ in North America, interest in the Kindle Fire is similar to levels
seen for the iPad prior to its launch (53% in April 2010). Although technically a statistical tie in North America between
Amazon and Samsung, Amazon is demonstrating impressive momentum among developers especially with a 7” screen
device when developers have previously expressed overwhelming preference for much larger screen size tablets.
Also note in North America there are high levels of interest in the Barnes & Noble NOOK. Combined, these Android-
based eReader devices make up half of the top four Android tablets and the NOOK may well move up with its
recently-announced new version and expansion outside the US.
Looking deeper into the primary reasons for interest in the Kindle Fire, Appcelerator and IDC found a similar sentiment
to that shared at the beginning of the year:
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
In the Q1 2011 survey, price was seen as the most important factor for Android tablet success because it is a major
factor that can quickly differentiate one tablet from another. However, throughout the year, most tablet manufacturers
launched at a $500+ price point and subsequently ran right into direct competition against the iPad. Today, Samsung
isn’t disclosing tablet sales figures, while Amazon shared their impressive numbers after the first weekend.
In Q4 2011, a plurality (38%) of developers again mentioned that price was the number one factor for their interest
in Kindle Fire. At USD $199, Amazon has landed at a price point that is even more accessible by the mass market.
Further, survey respondents see Amazon’s rich content library as a key success factor. Going forward, expect a lot of
players to attempt to emulate Amazon’s success by trimming their Android tablet prices and seeking new ways
of content differentiation.
Yet, despite all of their enthusiasm, developers have two key concerns with the Kindle Fire:
The biggest challenge with the Kindle Fire is fragmentation. What we’re likely to see out of the holiday season is a
bifurcated Amazon-backed-Android and Google-backed-Android tablet market. The second concern, lack of Android
features, is intertwined with the problem of the first, fragmentation. Different versions mixed with different capabilities
will add to a company’s already complex plans for mobile adoption. Amazon will need to adopt some coherent
versioning policy to maintain developer interest long-term as it continues to shadow Android development behind
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
Major Platform Ranking Shuffle
In addition to Amazon shaking up the mobile scene, Appcelerator and IDC also found that there was the most
movement throughout the mobile OS rankings since Appcelerator started tracking mobile platforms in January, 2010.
Consolidation, new players, and partnerships are defining a rapidly evolving mobile landscape as we end the year.
Priorities changed significantly this quarter due in large part to HP pulling the plug on Palm/webOS devices and Nokia
increasingly putting its weight behind Windows Phone 7. Appcelerator and IDC continue to see HTML5 maintaining its
importance, but still behind iOS and Android native application development.
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
Below is a historical look at how the mobile OS picture has evolved since January 2010:
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
At the top of the rankings, iOS, Android, and HTML5 interest remained largely the same this quarter.
• iOS held its leadership position at 91% very interested in iPhone development and 88% for iPad, both of
which are unchanged from Q3 2011.
• Android phones declined nearly 4 points and Android tablets declined nearly 6 points as interest in iOS 5 and
weak tablet sales weighed on Google’s OS.
• This was the second quarter tracking HTML5 mobile web, which held its position unchanged at 66%. It will
be interesting to see how Android tablet priorities stack up to mobile web as the two track closer together in
the middle of the list.
Due to several announcements over the past 3 months, there was significant movement in the bottom-half of
the rankings:
Interest in Windows Phone 7 jumped significantly to 38% worldwide this quarter as anticipation over Nokia Lumia
sales, new Windows Phone Mango release, and potential for Tablets and Windows 8 integration pushed the OS
higher on the priority list. What’s interesting is how different parts of the world view the importance of Windows
Phone and why. Appcelerator’s global developer base is close to evenly split throughout North America (37%),
Europe (38%), and the rest of the world (25%). We looked at Windows Phone interest across geographies and saw
differing levels of interest and rationale:
Nokia is seeing a resurgence in its opportunity as it launches its Lumia Windows Phone 7 devices. Twenty-eight
percent of global developers and businesses, and more so in Europe, are very interested in building for the Lumia.
Note that this level is more than double the level of interest in Symbian or MeeGo since Appcelerator and IDC started
tracking last year:
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
With Google launching a new version of Google TV with 3rd-party app support, Appcelerator and IDC took a look to
see if the connected TV picture had changed.
Both Apple TV and Google TV remain very low priorities for businesses that are increasingly facing more and more
demand from customers seeking an ever-wider array of smartphone and tablets. In fact, interest in Google TV has
dropped by half over the past year. Low volume and continuing pushback from the major networks will likely hinder
the TV app ecosystem well into 2012.
Beyond Windows Phone 7, the rest of the OSes dropped dramatically in interest levels. BlackBerry phones now have
just 21% of the developer population very interested in the device category, down half from its peak in early 2010.
The newer BlackBerry PlayBook is down to just 13%, which is lower than the TouchPad was before HP pulled the plug
earlier this year. webOS, Symbian, and MeeGo round out the bottom.
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
Transforming Customer Relationships:
A Look at Mobile Priorities
As businesses across the globe make the move to mobile, many are looking to understand best practices by which
mobile can transform and add value to their customer relationships. This quarter, Appcelerator and IDC surveyed
businesses and developers to understand their most important priorities for their most recent mobile project to
get a better sense of ‘real-world’ mobile strategies in action. We then clustered the results into four categories that
broadly define the objectives that most companies have when considering how mobile adds value to their customer
relationships: reach, engagement, loyalty, and monetization:
Each of these categories and corresponding mobile priorities is discussed further below, with a summary chart
provided at the end of this report for reference.
iOS or Android. iPad or iPhone. Tablet or eReader. Native App or Mobile Website. Aligning a company’s value
proposition to the appropriate mobile devices and experiences is an important first step to understanding how

to reach business customers where they are.
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
Most businesses surveyed want as much reach as possible, but it is important to align objectives surrounding user
experience and target demographic with device capabilities. Many iPhone and Android phone applications tend to
be more utilitarian in nature while iPad and Android tablet applications leverage tablets’ expanded screen real estate
to allow for deeper and richer engagement. Newer devices like eReaders target different customer demographics. In
short, stay away from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ mobile strategy.
Time-to-market and leveraging existing skills were also ranked as high priorities. Accomplishing these goals makes a
company more agile, which in turn enables a business to compete more efficiently and manage ever-increasing levels
of mobile fragmentation.
This defines the core of the app or mobile web experience. User experience, location, social hooks, and cloud-
connectivity all play an important role in determining how business customers will engage with your applications.
Respondents to the survey prioritize an easy-to-use, high-performing native user interface as the primary customer
engagement consideration when moving to mobile. This reflects the idea that many mobile experiences are essentially
utilitarian and that understanding the utility nature of a company’s brand (eg: recipes for a consumer packaged goods
company) is important. Certainly, location, social, and media are also key considerations, but are secondary to a rich
user experience.
A well-known study published by Pinch Media (now Flurry) showed that 80% of mobile applications were never
used beyond the first day. When it comes to loyalty, notifications and analytics are two key considerations to ensure
customers come back.
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
Respondents generally considered loyalty as secondary to their reach and engagement objectives, but Appcelerator
and IDC advise that all companies making the move to mobile have a robust analytics strategy from the outset.
Measuring success, iterating, and then improving on that success is an often overlooked component of a longer-term
mobile strategy; however, this is the one defining trait that all of Appcelerator’s top applications have in common.
Last quarter, we looked at 8 monetization models and found an increasing trend toward business models that scale
through the use of the application (eg: advertising and in-app purchase) vs. the initial purchase of the app itself (eg:
app store sales).
When it comes to transactions in applications, advertising continues to be the business model of choice, however,
survey respondents all agreed that making payments easy is the key priority for in-app purchasing and commerce.
For reference, on the next page is a stack rank of all 23 mobile objectives included in this quarter’s survey. Each of
these objectives has been categorized into one of the four key mobile relationship lifecycle categories and ranked
from highest to lowest.
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
Concluding Thoughts
This quarter marks the start of a new chapter for the mobile industry. First, Barnes & Noble and now Amazon
are paving the way for a whole new class of eReader and media tablet entrants into the field. Gone are the days
when differentiation was based primarily on device capabilities and OS selection. New content ecosystems, new
demographics, and lower price points will help reshape mobile heading into 2012. Microsoft and Nokia are also
showing that while the mobile industry does change quickly, the longer-term trend favors those that shed legacy
constraints, strike bold partnerships, and invest the resources to remain competitive. Finally, priorities from businesses
making the move to mobile are converging around how to make the most of the reach and engagement opportunity
that these devices offer while at the same time navigating the challenges of fragmentation and scale.
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
About the Appcelerator / IDC
Q4 2011 Mobile Developer Report
This survey was conducted from November 2-3, 2011. Appcelerator and IDC surveyed 2,160 of over 225,000
mobile developers who use Appcelerator’s Titanium application development platform on their plans, interests,
and perceptions of the major mobile and tablet OS providers. Developers were individually invited from Appcelerator’s
user registration database to complete a web response survey. A raffle for a free iPad 2 was made and only one
response per user was allowed. Respondents’ answers were given freely with no incentive or compensation for
their participation.
Appcelerator developers represent a uniquely broad spectrum of backgrounds. Twenty-nine percent of respondents
classify themselves as independent developers, with the other 71% coming from businesses. Appcelerator has a global
audience, with 37% surveyed stating they live in North America, 38% in Europe, and 25% throughout the rest of the
world. Note also that Appcelerator developers come from a web development background, so although they build
applications with Appcelerator Titanium, they are used to working across multiple platforms.
About Appcelerator
Appcelerator is the leading enterprise-grade, cross-platform development solution
on the market today, with over 1.6 million developers using its software to power over
30,000 cloud-connected mobile, desktop, and web applications used on 30 million
devices every day. The company’s flagship offering, Appcelerator Titanium, is the only
mobile cloud platform to enable fully native, cross-platform mobile app and HTML5
web development, from a single codebase. Appcelerator’s customers can leverage their
existing skills and open, industry standard technologies to decrease time-to-market
and development costs, increase customer adoption and revenues, and enjoy greater
flexibility and control. For more information, please visit www.appcelerator.com.
About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence,
advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and
consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and
the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases
and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local
expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For
more than 46 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their
key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media,
research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.
Copyright © 2011 Appcelerator, Inc. and IDC. All Rights Reserved.
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