10 Tweetable Facts about Mobile App Development [Report]

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The following statistics and facts are based on VisionMobile’s recent survey of 3,460 developers across 95 countries, which was shared with Wamda by Maysalward

Their report, entitled Developer Tools: The Foundations of the App Economy, was published just last month and details some surprising global trends among mobile platforms, developer tools, and revenue models.

Below is a list of 10 tweetable facts from the report, important for any developer to consider:

  1. Tablet sales are expected to be even with PC sales in the next 1-2 years [tweet this fact]. This will require a critical change for companies like Microsoft and Intel, who are seeing their once-dominant position in computing being severely challenged by mobility.

  2. Most developers use iOS first [tweet this fact]. Of those who develop for iOS, iOS is a clear winner in the battle against Android. 42% of developers choose iOS first, against 31% for Android. iOS comes out as a clear winner across all competitive points except cost and learning curve.

  3. Advertising is now the most popular revenue model for apps [tweet this fact], used by 38% of developers in the global sample. At the same time, it is the monetization model with the least revenue per app. In-app purchases and freemium are on the rise, used by more than a quarter of surveyed developers. In-app purchase is the second most popular revenue model on iOS, with 37% of developers using it, falling slightly behind pay per download.

  4. 700 million smartphones were shipped across the globe in 2012 [tweet this fact].

  5. Android has risen to be the most bought smartphone operating system in the world [tweet this fact] at around 70% of smartphone sales in 2012, while iOS sales have remained relatively stable from 2009-2012.

  6. Android continues to lead mobile developer “mindshare,” with 72% of developers now developing for the platform [tweet this fact]. While Android is still perceived by developers as a less profitable platform compared to iOS, its market share offers the potential for greater reach into smartphone users. Though iOS is used first by developers who use the platform, Android has an edge over all developers when it comes to lower cost and easier app development. 

  7. 47% of mobile developers plan to adopt the Windows Phone platform, but poor consumer adoption is holding them back [tweet this fact]. Microsoft’s Windows 8 & Phone 8 strategy brings a unified interface to all devices and enables significant code sharing between apps across PCs, tablets and smartphones. But developers seem to be on standby, waiting for consumer adoption to justify their investment in the platform.

  8. For the majority of developers, app development is not financially rewarding [tweet this fact]. Out of the vast majority of developers that are in it to make money, 67% are not making enough to sustain them or their business and are below the “app poverty line” of $500 per app per month.

  9. 74% of developers use two or more platforms concurrently [tweet this fact]. On average, mobile developers now use 2.6 mobile platforms compared to 2.7 in 2012 and 3.2 in  2011 research. The Android-iOS "duopoly" is gradually creating a concentration of developers around these two platforms. 80% of respondents in the sample develop for Android, iOS or both, making them the baseline in any platform mix. Developers that do not develop for one of these two platforms generate, on average, half the revenue of those developers that do.

  10. Most developers who create apps they want to use personally don’t make money [tweet this fact]. Almost half of developers (49%) in the survey decide which apps to develop based on their own needs. Those same developers end up generating the least amount of revenue per app per month, indicating that they have a lot to learn in how they plan their app business.

To download the full report, visit VisionMobile's website here and learn more about global app development trends and tools.

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