Developers more attracted to Windows Phone than BlackBerry; excited for Kindle Fire

Developers are now more compelled to build apps for Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system than for RIM’s aging BlackBerry OS, new research from Appcelerator and IDC revealed Monday. “The third major mobile OS after iOS and Android is now clearly Windows [Phone], driven largely by the Microsoft/Nokia partnership and underscored by the new Nokia Lumia 800,” IDC vice president of mobile and connected consumer platforms Scott Ellisson explained. 38% of survey respondents said they are “very interested” in Windows Phone, which IDC noted is the greatest amount of interest in the platform ever for Microsoft. The same can’t be said for RIM. Only 21% of developers said they were “very interested” in developing for BlackBerry OS and just 13% said they were “very interested” in creating QNX-based apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook. Read on for more.

Apple’s iOS continues to be the most attractive mobile OS for developers. 91% of those surveyed said they are “very interested” in iPhone development and 88% are just as excited to create apps for the iPad. In addition, the report, which compiled survey responses from 2,160 developers around the world, found that developers are quite excited to create new Android applications for the Amazon Kindle Fire.

“Findings reveal that Amazon’s new Kindle Fire edged Samsung’s Galaxy Tab as the number one most popular 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,” the study said. 49% of North American developers surveyed said they were “very interested” in the Kindle Fire.

The survey also suggests that overall developer interest in Android is fading a bit. 83% were “very interested” in developing Android apps for smartphones, down 4 percentage points from the last survey. 68% were “very interested” in creating apps for Android tablets, down 6 points from the last survey. The full press release from Appcelerator and IDC follows below.

Appcelerator–IDC Mobile Report Finds Amazon Kindle Launching as Leading Android Tablet for Developers in North America

14 Nov 2011

Survey of 2,160 Developers Sees Kindle Fire Interest on Par with iPad in April 2010; Microsoft Moves Decisively Ahead of RIM Through Nokia Partnership to Challenge Apple

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. and FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – November 14, 2011 – Appcelerator, the leading integrated mobile platform for rapidly developing native and HTML5 mobile Web applications using open Web technologies, and industry-leading analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC), today announced results from a new joint survey of 2,160 Appcelerator developers around the world. Findings reveal that Amazon’s new Kindle Fire edged Samsung Galaxy Tab as the number one most popular 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 full report is available free for download:http://appcel.us/q4_2011_report.

“The third major mobile OS after iOS and Android is now clearly Windows, driven largely by the Microsoft/Nokia partnership and underscored by the new Nokia Lumia 800,” noted Scott Ellison, vice president, Mobile & Connected Consumer Platforms at IDC. “Amazon has shown exceptional early success in appealing to developers with the Kindle Fire showing that price and differentiation are keys to competing in the crowded Android tablet space, rather than simply chasing the iPad market.”

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 Windows Phone 7 is building strong European developer enthusiasm thanks to its Nokia partnership. Developers and businesses gave high marks to these 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:

  • 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 where interest was in the iPad 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 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 3 mobile OS 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%) are saying it is the Microsoft/Nokia partnership. Nokia also received high marks for its new Lumia Windows Phone 7 smartphone announcement last month. Twenty-eight percent of developers said 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 waythere is now more interest in Nokia’s new Lumia Windows Phone lineup than RIM’s smartphones.
  • HTML5 continues to keep developer interest. Sixty-six percent of developers are very interested in building HTML5 mobile Web sites, 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. Apple TV, however, saw a smaller decline from 40% a year ago to 27% today.
  • iOS continues to reign at number 1 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 1 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 renewed interest in iOS 5, developers nevertheless saw Samsung’s rise to the number 1 smartphone manufacturer as the second most significant development of the past quarter after iOS 5.

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 24 mobile objectives for their most recent application. We then clustered this analysis into what we call the “mobile relationship lifecycle” to define objectives in four 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.

A complete breakdown of these trends and a more detailed analysis is available online. To access the Appcelerator/IDC Q4 2011 Mobile Report, please visit: http://appcel.us/q4_2011_report.

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 visitwww.appcelerator.com.

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