Data & Research

Android to topple iOS as most important platform for developers by end of 2012, reckons Ovum

Windows Phone support also on the rise

Android to topple iOS as most important platform for developers by end of 2012, reckons Ovum
Where developers go, gamers follow. At least, that's what Google will be hoping, with Datamonitor's technology-focused arm Ovum predicting Android is to be come the most important platform for mobile studios over the course of the next 12 months.

The outfit doesn't give any solid numbers, but the firm's second annual Developer Insights report illustrates a growing base for Android that will see it top out current developer favourite iOS before 2013.

Come one, come all

In reality, however, while Android will technically boast a larger pool of studios, Ovum claims the vast majority of developers will work cross-platform, targeting Android and iOS at the same time.

It's a sign of growing developer confidence in mobile platforms as a whole, with even relative newcomers such as Windows Phone managing to amass respectable studio support.

"The growing momentum behind Windows Phone indicates that Microsoft has managed to convince developers that its platform is worthy of investment," said device and platforms practice leader Adam Leach.

"Its challenge now is to persuade consumers."

WebOS to web-based

One can lead to the other, according to Ovum, and the process can also work in reverse, with developer support for the likes of Windows Mobile, Symbian and webOS falling away as consumers move on.

Likewise, Ovum believes languages such as Java, Flash and WAP are readily being superceded by web-based standard HTML5, which it claims will facilitate the current hunger for cross-platform development.

"A smartphone platform’s success is dictated not only by the pull of consumers and the push of handset vendors and mobile operators but also by a healthy economy of applications delivered by third-party developers," concluded Leach.

"Therefore, it is important for all players in the smartphone ecosystem to understand the choices developers are making today and the downstream impact of those choices."

[source: Ovum]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.