Global Mobile Developer Patterns Revealed
Written by Janet Swift   
Wednesday, 24 July 2013

In its largest and most global developer survey to date, Vision Mobile has found that while Android and iOS are almost in equal in terms of being a developer's main platform, Android leads in terms of mindshare. 


Vision Mobile's latest survey was conducted online during April and May 2013 and was restricted to developers using a mobile platform as their primary development platform. It was available in 10 languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and was promoted by 46 marketing and regional partners within the app development industry. This enabled the survey to reach over 6,000 respondents, globally balanced across Europe (40%), Asia (24%) and North America (28%).



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A total of 115 countries were represented with participants coming primarily from the US (18.7%), India (13.9%) and the UK (5.6%) followed by Russia, Germany and France.

The survey, reported in State of the Developer Nation, revealed that while Android and iOS were almost equally represented in the survey sample (Android 27%; iOS 25%) and in the weighted sample used to minimise the sampling bias for platform distribution (Android 34%; iOS 33%), Android was the overwhelming leader in terms of the percentage of developers using each platform, i.e. when you allow multiple platforms per developer.


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In this chart the results from April-May survey is compared to one conducted some six months previously and as far as Android and iOS are concerned there's virtually no change. On a worldwide basis Android is an active platform for 71% of developers compared to iOS being used by 57%. HTML5 is embraced by 52% of developers globally.

Vision Mobile's survey also shows some interesting regional variations. iOS dominates over Android in Oceania, but in Africa and South America iOS falls to third place behind HTML5 and in Asia HTML5 is almost on a par with iOS.



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The survey also looked into developer's interest in platform they are not currently working on. Around two-third of the survey had plans to adopt a platform with Windows 8 (40%) and Windows Phone (35%) being the most popular. However, as the report notes, while a great deal of interest had been shown in Windows Phone in previous surveys this has failed to convert into actual platform adoption.



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Over a quarter of respondents are considering developing for two newly available platforms  BlackBerry 10 and Firefox OS but Tizen is less popular at only 12%. The relatively low intent to adopt Android is explained by the fact that developers are already using it.

Another interesting finding from the survey is the result of asking developers how they select a mobile platform, asking them to rank criteria in order for their primary platform. Speed and cost of development came top for all platforms apart from iOS where revenue potential dominated.


vmrevpot400 (click in chart for larger version) 


The report also furnishes a wealth of information about revenue generation by platform, which we'll consider another time.


More Information

State of the Developer Nation (pdf)
Download from Developer Economics

Related Articles

Android and iOS Share Tablet Market Almost Equally

iOS Dominates The Enterprise

Mobile Developers Still Prefer iOS

iOS Tops Popularity Poll for Developers


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 July 2013 )