Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Distilling the Distillation of Vision Mobile’s Market Sense

Distilling the Distillation of Vision Mobile’s Market Sense

This item in japanese

Lire ce contenu en français

Vision Mobile (VM) is a UK think tank whose periodic reports are geared to assist mobile developers and other players in the vast mobile ecosystem in making sense of the cacophony of mobile trends. Their reports provide informed guidance that can help devs make the best decision about where to concentrate their marketing efforts.


Following are some of the highlights from VM’s latest distillation of market noise. It’s a summary of data culled from surveying thousands of mobile developers from across the world about the coding languages, tools, and issues surrounding their implementation and marketing that can contribute the most towards their success; “Developer Economics 2013-Developer Tools: The Foundations of the App Economy”.


72 per cent of developers polled develop for the Android platform. Android is especially popular amongst Asian and European developers respectively. In North America the divide between iOS and Goggle’s Android OS is less pronounced. Android’s potential weakness is that many of its users labor with older API’s and are generally of lower income than iOS users, for example.


Hope still remains for some other platforms; with 47 per cent indicating interest in developing for Windows Phone and 15 per cent for BB10, while 23 per cent of devs plan to adopt the Facebook platform


Advertising is the most popular monetization scheme for developers but returns the smallest income per app. Google’s AdMob is the preferred ad platform. VM recommends HelpShift for obtaining better interaction between developers and those that use their apps.


If mobile developers have been feeling a little dizzy lately they can be excused. As VM notes that there are now over 500 third party tools such as API’s, SDK’s and miscellaneous widgets to choose from that cater to every app development activity; pre, during and post.


The report is chock full of interesting statistics on the flourishing mobile ecosystem. Like: 74 per cent of all smart phones sold use the Android OS and that Samsung has replaced long running champ Nokia as the mobile handset maker leader. Even outselling the iPhone 4S. Three quarters of devs develop for as many as three mobile platforms, though most devs prefer iOS first and view it as more profitable than Android. Even so, most developers’ apps are not monetarily successful. The moral is: don’t quit that day job!


Half of developers surveyed use HTML. Devs that code in HTML are statistically more profitable than developers using any other platform. This is attributed to HTML devs often using subscription based monetization formats.


PhoneGap and Appcelerator are the cross platform tool leaders. The most important distinctions for cross platform tools are; native API access, performance optimization and native reproduction of UI’s. Cross Platform Networks (CPNs) like Tapjoy, assist mobile developers by serving as a way to advertise their apps by trading traffic between them and providing incentives for downloads.


The London based think tank notes that in order to succeed in the new app markets, developers cannot be satisfied with being prolific coders producing awesome products. Because VM predicts that it will become increasingly difficult for mobile devs’ apps to get discovered as the proliferation of new tools make it easier for novices to enter the fray and as the Apple Google app distribution duopoly takes further root. 

Rate this Article