Tablet devices are increasing both in number and popularity. The huge success of Apple's iPad seems to have opened the floodgates on the tablet genre, and it not only has consumers interested, but app developers as well. In its newly released Mobile Developer Report for the first quarter of 2011, Appcelerator and IDC reveal the overwhelming interest of app developers in tablets, as well as which tablets are being given top priority when developing new apps. Not surprisingly, the iPad and Android tablets are at the top.
Results for the Mobile Developer Report were obtained through surveys conducted from January 10th to 12th. IDC, a market research firm, and Appcelerator, an apps development platform, collaborated to produce the report. In all, 2,235 app developers were surveyed.
The developers were asked if they were “very interested” in creating apps for various tablet platforms. The iPad garnered the most interest, as 87 percent of those polled said they were very interested in developing apps for the highly popular Apple tablet. The 87 percent represented a three percent jump in interest over the last three months. Android tablets came in second, as 74 percent of the developers said they were very interested in developing apps for the platform. Interest in Android tablets grew 12 percent over three months. Interest in developing apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook jumped from 16 to 28 percent over three months, while Hewlett-Packard's webOS tablet platform's interest remained unchanged at 16 percent.
Thoughts and wishes for future tablets were discussed as well. Developers said they hoped the iPad 2 would come with an upgraded Retina display, different display sizes, a better processor, a camera, and more. When asked about the future success of Android tablets, developers cited competitive pricing, minimized fragmentation, hardware capabilities, and the new Honeycomb OS as the top factors that would determine the devices' fates.
In addition to their interest in tablets, developers were also asked if they were very interested in developing apps for various mobile phone platforms. The iPhone's iOS platform came in first, with 92 percent stating they were very interested, while the Android platform came in second among smartphones with 87 percent. Research In Motion's BlackBerry received 38 percent interest, and Windows Phone 7 and webOS for phones followed with 36 and 13 percent, respectively. Apple's 10 billion app downloads certainly help boost its appeal for developers, and the survey's results echo this fact. The Windows Phone 7 OS, while relatively new, has a promising future with developers, as many praised its improved user interface as a real draw.
Although the Mobile Developer Report was highlighted by its findings on developer preferences among different platforms, it also revealed other interesting sentiments in the area of app stores. When it comes to app stores, 82 percent of developers polled said they preferred to work with and design for Google's Android Market. Not as popular was Amazon's Android Appstore, which recently opened its doors to developers. It only received the interest of 37 percent.
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