Mobile Developers Economics 2011 – A Recommended Report By VisionMobile


VisionMobile has recently published an interesting report called: mobile developers economics in 2011.

I really recommend reading the report, but just in case you are extremely busy (or lazy), here are some interesting key insights:

  • Top-3 platforms in Developer Mindshare: Android (67%), iOS (59%), mobile web (56%)
  • Top-2 platforms being abandoned by their current users: Symbian (40%) and Java ME (35%)
  • App stores are primary distribution channels for 45% of developers, across platforms
  • Despite the bad press, Android is actually less fragmented than either Java ME or BlackBerry
  • Order of platform adoption for companies developing B2C apps: 1. iOS 2. Android 3. mobile web 4. BlackBerry 5. WP7


While Android and iOS are the clear winners of the developers mindshare, however, the report writer specifically mentions the mobile web as the surprising 3rd place, making the highest jump in developers adoption:

"However, the most surprising finding is the adoption of mobile web, i.e. the platform for apps written in HTML or JavaScript, which claimed the 3rd spot in terms of developer mindshare, being used by over 55% of the developers. We do not attribute this to the ease of learning this platform (which has a deceptively steep learning curve, as you can see in the full report), but rather the influx of non-mobile developers to the industry. Also, mobile web is fast becoming the de-facto cross-platform choice for developers, especially now that Java and Flash are waning. In addition, there is a veritable host of HTML-to-native development tools that are helping HTML/JavaScript developers target smartphone native app markets."

Platform priorities. For companies going mobile, platform priorities are mixed, but
the core challenge is common – market penetration and reach across the customer
base. Organizations developing B2C apps (targeted at consumers) are extending their
offering first to Apple, and then to Android, to mobile web, to BlackBerry and finally to
Windows Phone 7. For B2B apps (applications paid for by the corporate IT manager or
CIO), HTML is already the platform of choice- not just for deployment on mobile web
browsers, but also by converting HTML is already the platform of choice – not just for
deployment on mobile web browsers, but also for conversion into native iPhone and
Android apps, using HTML5/Java script conversion tools from companies such as
PhoneGap, RhoMobile and Sencha.


Symbian and Java are the top platforms being abandoned by developers, probably after the understanding that Java can never be a real cross platform technology as long as Apple and Microsoft are running successful businesses…

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Useful Links:

You can download the full report (for free) in here, or visit VisionMobile blog which includes a lot of interesting articles about mobility such as the following two:



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This as an interesting report. It's just a matter of time before other players enter the market. The bottom line is that whoever provides the best value to consumers wins.