Survey: Developer Interest in Android and WP7 Drops, iOS Holds Strong

Has some of the bloom come off the Android rose? That's what a new survey of developers may be showing.

The survey, from Appcelerator and IDC, polled developer attitudes on building software for mobile platform. The biggest takeaway is that interest in developing for iOS (iPhone and iPad) remains strong, while interest in Android, although it remains high, has cooled a bit in recent months.

The report speculates that some recent problems Android has faced are having an impact on the developer community:

"Interest in Android has recently plateaued as concerns around fragmentation and disappointing results from early tablet sales have caused developers to pull back from their previous steadily increasing enthusiasm for Google’s mobile operating system."

iOS development retains its lead in developer work, with 91 percent saying they're "very interested" in iPhone development and 86 percent in iPad development. Interest in the Android phone, meanwhile, dipped slightly to 85 percent -- two points off the previous high. Of more concern to Google, most likely, is that interest in Android tablets dropped three points, to 71 percent.

The declines, according to the report, "are consistent with an increase in developer frustration with Android." The chief source of that frustration is device fragmentation, cited by almost two-thirds of developers.

The news is even worse for Microsoft and Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry platforms. Although Microsoft moved into third place in developer interest, vaulting over RIM, overall developer interest in Windows Phone still dropped 7 percent, to 29 percent. BlackBerry plunged even further, taking an 11-point dive from 38 percent to 27 percent.

The chances of either platform threatening the two leaders are slim, according to the survey. Sixty-two percent of developers doubt that any other entrants in the mobile development race can catch Android and iOS. In Microsoft's case, at least, time also appears to be a factor. Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents said their lack of development interest stemmed not so much from the potential of the platform, but simply not having enough development time left over after working on iOS and Android.

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