Developer Economics 2013: There is room for a viable third app ecosystem

Developer Economics 2013: There is room for a viable third app ecosystem

The Developer Economics 2013 report is now available for download, covering six developer tool sectors, including ad-networks, back-end as a service, cross-platform tools, cross-promotion networks, user analytics and voice services. The findings, presented below, are based on an online survey of 3,400 developers across the globe.

Developers swarm around iOS/Android but keep looking for viable alternatives
Android continues to lead mobile developer mindshare, with 72% of developers now developing for the platform, a 4 percentage point increase compared to the 2012 survey. iOS shows a 5 percentage point drop in Mindshare, which is the index for measuring how many developers use each platform. The considerable share of mobile developers intend to adopt Windows Phone (47%) and BB10 (15%), indicating there is interest in a viable third app ecosystem.

HTML5 needs better native APIs, and development environment
HTML5 developers are working on app categories such as Business & Productivity (used by 42% of HTML developers), Enterprise (32%) and Media apps (28%). However, in order to compete with native apps, HTML5 needs better native API access (35% of HTML developers), a better development environment (34%), better debugging support (22%).

iOS, Android and BlackBerry are lead platforms
iOS, Android and BlackBerry constitute lead platforms, which are most often used as a main platform among their developers. Windows Phone and HTML are extension platforms, as they are typically used to extend the app footprint into customer segments or regions not adequately covered by the lead platform.

Tablets reaching dev mindshare parity with smartphones, TVs are niche
The majority (86%) of 3,460 developers are targeting smartphones, while a large share of them also develop on tablets, led by iOS developers (76%). TV app development remains niche (6% of Android developers), though.

74% of developers use 2+ platforms, but money is concentrated in iOS/Android
On average, today’s mobile developers use 2.6 mobile platforms, compared to 2.7 in 2012 and 3.2 in our 2011 survey. 80% of respondents 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.

Advertising is now the most popular revenue model for apps
Advertising is used by 38% of developers even though it’s the monetization model with the least revenue per app. In-app purchases and Freemium are on the rise, having grown by 50% compared to 2012, and are now used by more than a quarter of the developer population in the survey. In-app purchase is now the second most popular revenue model on iOS, with 37% of developers using it, falling slightly behind Pay per download.

Google’s AdMob adopted by 65% of developers that use ad services
Second runners, each used by 12% of developers in the sample, are Inneractive and InMobi. Apple’s iAd service comes fourth overall with 11%, and despite being quite popular among iOS developers, AdMob is the leading ad service on iOS, used by 66% of iOS developers surveyed.

PhoneGap and Appcelerator lead developer mindshare in CPTs
PhoneGap tops CPT rankings, used by 34% of developers, followed by Appcelerator and Adobe Air with 21% and 19% developer mindshare, respectively. Amidst differentiating features for CPTs are access to native APIs, performance optimization and the ability to reproduce native UI elements on each platform.

Google (69%) and Flurry (49%) well ahead of competition in analytics
User analytics services are significantly more important for iOS developers – used by 39% of iOS developers vs. 28% for Android, 25% for WP and 15% for BlackBerry.

The developer tools universe expands and consolidates
For every 1,000 app startups, there is a developer tools startup. In parallel, there is consolidation taking place via organic expansion and via mergers and acquisitions.

Over 500 tools for today’s app developers, designers and entrepreneurs
Developer needs haven’t changed much in the last few years – what has changed is the flurry of startups, from Appcelerator to Zong, which emerged to cater to those needs. App developers today have over 500 third party tools (APIs, SDKs, components) to choose from, catering to every stage along the developer journey.

And if you need even more details, you can get the full report from here.

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