Android increasingly more important to developers: Ovum

Ranked fifth in the 2010 survey, Android moved up to second place and is expected to overtake iOS

Google’s Android is expected to overtake Apple’s iOS as the platform of choice for developers in the Asia Pacific region within the next 12 months, according to Ovum.

The research firm’s second annual developer survey, Developer Insights 2011: Trends in Mobile Application Development, revealed that the Android is predicted to receive the most developer support within the next 12 months, with 29 per cent of developers expressing a preference to adopt Android compared to 27 per cent planning to adopt iOS.

Ranked fifth in the 2010 survey, Android moved up to second place in last year’s survey.

iOS clung onto its top spot for the second consecutive year, with the developers surveyed still rating it as the more important platform in terms of raw shipment numbers, perceived effectiveness, potential to sell apps and potential to sell ad space.

“A smartphone platform’s success is dictated not only by the pull of consumers and the push of both handset vendors and mobile operators but also a healthy economy of applications delivered by third-party developers,” said Ovum’s devices and platforms practice leader and survey author, Adam Leach, in a statement.

However, the survey also noted that developers fundamentally supported both platforms. This is shown by the large crossover between iOS and Android developers, with 75 per cent of iOS developers who stated that iOS was more important saying they currently support Android and will continue to in the next year.

Following iOS and Android in terms of popularity amongst developers were BlackBerry OS, Microsoft Windows Phone 7, Symbian OS, Samsung Bada and HP WebOS in that order.

Leach said the growing momentum behind Windows Phone 7 suggested that Microsoft may have convinced developers that its platform is worthy of investment but it still needs to persuade consumers.

It may not be a surprise that Android is increasing its popularity as recent reports also show that the Android market has surpassed 50 per cent worldwide and the opening of an ‘Androidland’ in Melbourne.

The rise of Android appears to be immune to its ongoing issues with OS fragmentation and the increase of malware specifically targeting Android.

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