iOS Developers Embracing Alternative Mobile Platforms, Shying Away From Mac

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    Fortune reports on a new survey conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference last week in which he surveyed a number of developer attendees to gain an understanding of their development interests. Interestingly, nearly half of the 45 developers surveyed reported that they are also developing for Android, while only a third revealed that they are developing BlackBerry applications.

    Only 7% of surveyed developers reported that they are also developing for OS X, indicating that Apple's new Mac App Store and integrated Xcode development tools still have a significant market on the OS X side that remains untapped. A full 93% of iPhone developers unsurprisingly reported also developing for iPad, tapping into the rapidly-growing tablet market as a natural extension of their iPhone and iPod touch businesses.

    While the developers unsurprisingly (given their attendance at WWDC) unanimously chose iOS as the platform that is easiest for development and best for monetization, only approximately half of the developers regarded iOS as having the highest growth potential. Even among these dedicated iOS developers, 40% of respondents cited Android as having the highest potential for future growth.

    Munster attempts to compare his results to a similar survey of 20 developers conducted at WWDC 2008, but with only a handful of results from that earlier survey providing little detail and the wholesale changes in iOS and the smartphone industry since that time, it is difficult to make comparisons. For example, iOS developer interest in the Mac platform appears to have plummeted from 50% to 7% over the past three years, but it is important to remember the context of 2008 when Apple was just launching the App Store and iOS developers were commonly Mac developers who had begun dabbling in iOS applications. The reverse is now true, with over 400,000 iOS applications available and a number of developers finding that iOS development is a sustainable business on its own.

    Article Link: iOS Developers Embracing Alternative Mobile Platforms, Shying Away From Mac
  2. jowie macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2004
    London ish
  3. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    This is a crap survey. Only 20 people in 2007 and 45 people this year? Thats a TINY sample size.. not even big enough to make these statistics significant.
  4. jkichline macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2010
    I think the problem is...

    I have tons of people who want me to port my one app to Mac. The trouble is that Mac OS X apps are much more complex to get started. I think it's because of the age of the platform, so there is so much to learn. I want to go to Mac, but in the meantime...

    The other thing to consider is that these are "mobile" developers. That means that when you write an app for iPhone, you are going to have your clients or business want an Android version, plain and simple. It has no bearing on how much we like to develop for that platform. Let me tell you, I'd rather right iOS code all day long, but here I am debugging an Android version of the app.
  5. rhett7660 macrumors G5


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    I couldn't agree more. How many apps are out there and they only polled 45 people. Give me a freaking break.
  6. lordreye, Jun 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011

    lordreye macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2009
    Exactly. MacRumors, your story should be about how these idiots asked a handful of people and are now reporting it as fact, not just blindly reporting it. Check out this calculator that can be used to determine a statistically valid sample:
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Wrong interpretation.

    Higher iOS developer ratio doesn't mean they are "Shying Away From Mac"


    3 iOS dev
    1 mac dev
    25% mac developer

    With an increase in both developer count it could be like this:

    95 ios dev
    5 mac dev
    5% mac developer

    Omg Mac is doomed. In reality, the ratio between the two don't tell anything.
  8. iamkarlp macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2008
    This, as the previous poster said, is a flawed survey. Let's not even talk about the fact their isn't enough people to statistically matter, In 2008 halve that list didn't even exist.

    Also, if you are a mobile focused developer it makes a lot of sense to develop for more than one platform. However it's also understandable that if you are focused on mobile development it doesn't make sense to develop desktop unless it is a strategic decision.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the survey results are mildly accurate, but this particular survey is more an express of a few peoples opinions than a broad-base survey.
  9. pitouthestar macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2008

    I can't believe that serious sites like Fortune publish such crap from Gene Munster.

    A 20 or 45 people sample does not mean ANYTHING. But what is even stupider is using percentages on a sample inferior to 100.

    Gene Munster, maybe you should look for another job.
  10. bb426, Jun 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011

    bb426 macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2011
    Why even continue with this survey based on the sample size and the obvious bias? This shows close to nothing about developers "shying away from OS X". And comparing it to 2008 when the app store was JUST released and not including the years in between doesn't make sense.

    And of course devs are going to other platforms (Android). Why not? It's still way inferior to the real App Store.

    Wouldn't be surprised if they only handed these surveys to Android developers.
  11. HelveticaNeue macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    I can understand why people are reluctant to develop for the Mac. I use iLife, iWork and Adobe CS on my Mac and have no desire for any additional programs because I use my computer for two things: work and dicking around on the internet.

    However, on iOS I am constantly buying apps for iPhone and iPad because I don't use these devices just for work. I use them to be entertained and for making my life easier, which is difficult for a Mac to do because it isn't constantly in my pocket, doesn't know where I am, and isn't suited for some tasks which require (or are made better) through a touch interface.
  12. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Takeaways from the article:

    • If you want to make money, iOS is your platform of choice
    • iOS has highest potential for future growth (see above for one of the main reasons) even among an ocean of Android devices that are based on an "open" platform, but other platforms are growing as well. There will always be a market for other platforms, even if they're total junk. The race to the bottom is always happening.
    • iOS growth faster than Mac/OS X. Suggests (more evidence to add to the pile) that we are definitely in the Post-PC era.
  13. Atlantico macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2011
    Hmm would have been nicer to see more developers surveyed, after all there were thousands in attendance, but still I don't know how useful this survey could have been ... after all this WWDC was iOS focused and expected to be the venue for the release of iOS 5 - but then wedged Lion in there rather late in the game (the tickets for WWDC 11 were sold out in the first hours they were available)

    Ergo, the people who attended (and paid or had paid for them the $1000 fee) were there on iOS business and little more. Nobody was expecting anything too interesting on the Mac development front (and indeed, despite Lion, there wasn't really anything that interesting on the Mac front)

    Thus this survey shows, that iOS developers develop apps for iOS, and are quite content. There are fewer Mac developers, but then again, Apple doesn't care too much about the Mac, so why should developers? :cool:
  14. kalsta macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2010
    The drop from 50% to 7% (even if the survey results were statistically significant) doesn't mean developers are 'shying away from Mac'. It's quite likely that a large percentage of developers attending WWDC now are relatively new to Xcode development, having been drawn in by the lure of the iOS cash cow. That's to be expected given the platform's success, and says nothing about the actual number of people developing for the Mac.

    Edit: I just noticed your comment. That's essentially what I was trying to say too.
  15. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Off-topic: even after all these years, Helvetica is still the best damn sans out there. In fact, it reads better than some of the well-designed serifs in use today.
  16. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
    Less concerning is the sample size, more is the lack of inclusion of if this is the respondent's first WWDC. (many hands were raised when some session audiences were asked if this was their first WWDC).

    I wouldn't draw the conclusion that people are shying away from Mac development. Standing in line waiting for the keynote, I found many first timers.
  17. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    Thats a very small survey to be throwing out stats as big as that. Take it easy guys. It's like when they poll 1000 people to state what the entire country thinks about who they will vote for in the next election.
  18. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Apple cares a little more about what is next, than what is now. They don't hold a static position with a paradigm for too long. When others are seeking to maintain and extend the paradigm (often in redundant, poorly conceived ways) like MS, Apple is looking to take us to the next one.

    It's up to you to make the costs vs. benefits analysis.
  19. twochoicestom macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2008
    If I'd have written a statistical analysis like this for my dissertation. I'd be out on my arse right now.

    Misleading headline based on a ***** survey.
  20. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2010
    No way this is an accurate survey with so few people polled.
  21. Surreal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2004
    not a great sample size but i think there is SOME truth to the idea. I actually think it has more to do with conveniences like UIKit and other frameworks that make iOS different to work on that then mac.
  22. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    I think this survey was compiled by a school kid with clipboard who couldn't be bothered to do the survey in the first place.
  23. Theseanything macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2010
    Completely agree... Poor survey. Sample size way too small to show significance, in some cases. Also, surely they're embracing other platforms less... if in 2008, 30% developed for "no other platforms" and now 36% developed for "no other platforms"....
  24. jntdigital macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2008
    Exactly. I thought there are over 300K registered iOS developers.

    We have been looking and talking about the idea of porting our app to other mobile platforms. There still seems to be an issue of whether you can make any money on Android. A good example is Rovio, where angry birds is free on android but 99 cents on iOS:

    “Free is the way to go with Android. Nobody has been successful selling content on Android. We will offer a way to remove the ads by paying for the app, but we don’t expect that to be a huge revenue stream.”

    Read the full interview

    While Android cant be ignored, we are finding it hard to justify the time its going to take to develop an app that we want to make a profit on on the Android market. Our app is a business app.

    Of all the other platforms though, Blackberry is most appealing because of their enterprise user base, though it seems to be shrinking according to this article.

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