Today we explore why mobile app developers favour the iPhone. There is a huge shift occurring in the world of computing. Consumers are increasingly switching from desktop to mobile and there is enormous growth in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China. As competition intensifies between Apple and Google, we examine who’s likely to come out on top and why. In 2012 nearly 70% of new project starts were iOS first. But why do developers prefer Apple?
Apple dominates app revenue
Despite having the bigger share of the market when it comes to monetisation via the app store, Apple is king. Apple’s estimated revenue generation simply dwarfs Android and other competing platforms. Android tends to have a bigger market share in emerging economies where consumers have less money to spend on apps and IAP’s (in-app-purchases). However Apple dominates markets like USA and the UK where consumers have more disposable income. If you’re a business or brand seeking to develop a mobile app, it makes sense to go where the money is – Apple.
Apple generates the most mobile commerce traffic
Apple customers are conditioned to buy stuff. They search for information on products and services and make purchase decisions whilst using iPad and iPhone. In terms of generating the most mobile commerce traffic, iPad creates more active consumer engagement than Android, Android tablet and all of the other platforms combined. Simply put, when it comes to buying stuff via mobile, iPhone and iPad combined account for just over 70% of all mobile commerce transactions. Android smartphone and tablet’s account for roughly 25% of mobile commerce traffic with all of the other platforms accounting for less than 5%.
Android is hugely fragmented
Donut, Eclair, FroYo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and now KitKat. Jelly Bean and Ice Cream sandwich have a combined share of nearly 80% of Android devices. But because of the massive fragmentation issues, it’s hard for app developers to create a seamless experience across all devices and platforms and most users still are not using the latest version of the software. There are 11,868 distinct Android devices across Samsung, HTC, Lenovo and many other companies. Combine this with the fragmented software issue and it creates a complex and unprofitable environment for developing apps.
Apple has wealthier users
Whilst Google Android tends to dominate market share in emerging mobile territories, it’s Apple customers who have the real spending power. In Western markets, where Apple tend to be more successful, users are more likely to pay for apps, content and IAP’s. An astonishing 41% of Apple customers earn more than $100k per annum. Compared to Google Android, 39% of owners earn less than $50k per annum. It’s easy to see why, based on pure economics alone, that Apple represents a better first choice development platform than Android.
Apple dominates the number of new project starts
In 2012, 69% of new projects started on iOS compared to 31% on Android. This has been increasingly the case since 2011 and the disparity in numbers between the two companies is set to widen even further. In the future expect to see more apps developed for Apple first as developers weigh up the economics and complexities of using either platform. In both cases Apple wins out as both revenue and ease of technical development rest with iOS and mobile development via iPhone first.
So if you’re a brand, business or marketing manager trying to understand the world of app development, the likelihood is you’ll get best results developing your app on iOS first.