Data & Research

Developers to adopt 'Android first' policy as platform drives app downloads in 2013

More than half made on Google's OS

Developers to adopt 'Android first' policy as platform drives app downloads in 2013
2013 will be the year when smartphone developers switch their primary focus from iOS and Android owing to Google's OS accounting for the lion's share of app downloads.

That's according to ABI Research, which claims smartphone app downloads will hit 56 billion this year – 58 percent of which will be made on Android devices.

That puts Google's platform ahead of iOS on 33 percent, and Windows Phone on 4 percent.

Tight at the top

Despite Android's lead over iOS when it comes to the number of devices in consumer's pockets, iOS has – until now – lead the way when it comes to app downloads. Accurate or not, ABI Research is effectively predicting a changing of the guard.

As a result, the firmconcludes that a "growing number of smartphone-focused developers to adopt an Android-first strategy within the year."

"Arguably the most pressing issue for Google is how much of this handset momentum will ultimately trickle down to tablets, where Apple is holding the fort remarkably well," added senior analyst Aapo Markkanen.

"We would argue that in this context Google will actually benefit from the efforts by Amazon, since the presence of Kindle Fire adds a lot of critical 'code mass' to Android's proposition as a platform for tablet applications."

Indeed, of the 14 billion tablet apps ABI expects to be downloaded in 2013, iPad will make up 75 percent, ahead of Android (excluding Amazon's Kindle Fire on 17 percent). Amazon's tablets themselves will command a 4 percent share, ahead of Windows 8/RT on 2 percent.

[source: ABI Research]

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