According to a recent study by Flurry Analytics, developers prefer iOS to Android by nearly two-and-a-half times. The research firm believes that fragmentation in the Android operating system is to blame for why developers are more likely to choose Apple’s operating system.
Flurry’s analysis shows that, for every 10 apps a developer builds, seven of them will be iOS apps and only 3 will be Android apps. Part of the appeal is that Apple allows developers to create apps that can be used on both the iPhone and iPad. The “2-for-1 proposition” is appealing to developers because they can build an app once and run it on any device, delivering maximum reach for minimum cost.
Flurry also shows that the iPad dominates the tablet market by 88 percent compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab with nine percent and Amazon’s Kindle Fire with only three percent. The latter two are the second and third most popular tablet on the market.
The Flurry study pointed out that while Apple offers a consistent operating system to its developers and customers, Android has done the complete opposite, creating a complex and costly operating system for developers to work in. Flurry analyzed the top 20 devices using an Android-based operating system. From their research, 17 of the top 20 devices hold six percent or less of the share, “meaning that each device a developer supports will deliver only a small increase in distribution coverage.”
Device fragmentation is not as detrimental as firmware fragmentation. Flurry’s research shows that Gingerbread, which is four generations old now, is used by the majority of Android-based devices. Additionally, Honeycomb, which was optimized for tablets, and Ice-Cream Sandwich, the newest operating system, have a combined 11 percent of the market. Fro-Yo, which is older than Honeycomb and Ice-Cream Sandwich has a larger penetration than the two newest operating systems combined.
Flurry also ran a comparison of revenue generated by top apps on both Android and iOS and found that iOS apps generate four times more revenue than Android. For every $1.00 a developer earns on iOS he will only earn about $0.24 on Android.
With numbers like this, it is a wonder why developers even spend time with Android. Flurry said it best, “In short, Android delivers less gain and more pain than iOS, which we believe is the key reason 7 out of every 10 apps built in the new economy are for iOS instead of Android.”