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Web Developers Like Android's Long-Term Outlook

Web developers are predicting that Google's Android mobile platform has a better long-term outlook over Apple's iOS, according to a survey released today by Appcelerator and market researcher IDC.

More than 58 percent of respondents to the survey said Android has a better long-term outlook than iOS, Apple's platform for the iPod, iPhone and iPad. By comparison, nearly 35 percent of developers believe iOS has a better long-term outlook.

Appcelerator, which offers a platform for Web developers, and IDC surveyed 2,363 developers that use its Titanium platform earlier this month. Since Appcelerator's last report in June, the gap has widened by over 10 points between Android and iOS, the survey found.

Moreover, some 72 percent of developers found Android to be the best option for connecting to a wide variety of devices, compared with 25 percent for iOS. Appcelerator's VP of marketing Scott Schwarzhoff said in an interview the findings are noteworthy because Web developers typically aren't partial to a particular platform. "They have this agnostic view," Schwartzhoff said.

Currently, Apple still has the advantage with 91 percent saying they are "very interested" in developing for the iPhone compared with 82 percent for Android phones. By comparison, 34 percent showed interested in the BlackBerry phone platform and 16 percent for the Palm webOS Pre.

As for Windows Phone 7, 28 percent are interested in developing for that platform, but Schwartzhoff said its long-term prognosis is too early to forecast since phones based on Microsoft's new platform are not yet available.

"Microsoft has zero legacy with Windows Phone 7, so no one has any idea about all its capabilities, market acceptance or anything," he said. "That's one that's way too early to call."

Some other findings in the report:

  • Apple's iPad still has an edge over Android-based tablets with 84 percent showing interest in the former and 62 percent in the latter.
  • Fragmentation is a concern with 74 percent saying iOS is "least fragmented" compared with 11 percent for Android.
  • Only 16 percent each have current interest in tablets-based on webOS and BlackBerry's anticipated new entrée.

The report is available for download here.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on September 27, 2010