It’s no secret that Android holds a comfortable lead when it comes to the total number of smartphones sold, with a 52% market share (compared to the iPhone’s 29%). One would think that this might translate into a greater interest in mobile app sales for the various Android platforms, but according to a recent study conducted by Appcelerator, this just isn’t the case.
The seeming disparity in supply and demand has many pundits perplexed. Bloggers at the Guardian flatly ask, for example, “Have we all gone mad? Why’s the market telling us one thing, yet we’re doing another?” The same article seems to suggest that developers are merely creatures of habit, they revere patterns above all else, and are uncomfortable abandoning those patterns in order to shift with the prevailing winds of the mobile app marketplace. In other words, the Guardian believes mobile app developers are suffering from a “disconnect,” and one that is costing them rather a lot of money as Android slowly takes over.
This assessment seems simplistic, at best. One of the more important reasons that developers love iOS is because, plainly put, it’s much easier to use. This might have something to do with the fact that iOS developers have two devices (iPhone and iPad) for which they have to optimize their product, whereas Android developers have to make their apps useable on a variety of Android devices.
Additionally, total smartphone sales do not translate to total app sales. Android users absolutely hate paying for apps, and as a recent article at Apple Insider stated, when it comes to total dollars spent on mobile apps, Apple’s App Store is kicking the competition right in the keister. That is, Apple has roughly 85-90% market share in total dollars spent on mobile applications. Of course, Android’s exploitation of alternative monetization models generate numbers that are particularly difficult to crunch, but given Apple’s app sales, it’s clear that app developers are quite sensible when they choose to make iOS their home.