Appcelerator-IDC Survey: Microsoft and Amazon Rising Mobile Stars

By Appcelerator, IDC — November 14, 2011

Findings reveal that Amazon’s new Kindle Fire edged Samsung Galaxy Tab as the leading Android Tablet in North America, on par with interest for the iPad prior to its launch in April 2010, and second only to the Galaxy Tab globally with developers. Perhaps more surprising – if not altogether unexpected - Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 moved decisively ahead of RIM’s BlackBerry OS, in the process emerging as the clear number three mobile OS behind iOS and Android.
 
Amazon announced the Kindle Fire, a smaller, cheaper Android-based tablet that leverages its large content library – and has quickly established it as a white hot platform for developers to target. Microsoft’s Window’s Phone 7 meanwhile, is building strong European developer enthusiasm thanks to its Nokia partnership – which looks at the moment as if it may indeed deliver a payday to both companies.
 
Developers and businesses gave high marks to these strong moves, which contrast sharply against BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry’s QNX-based PlayBook - all of which collapsed in interest with developers this past quarter. That is hardly surprising given RIM’s current fortunes.
 
Report Highlights
  • Amazon’s new Kindle Fire ignites developer interest. When surveyed among 15 Android tablets, the lowcost, content-rich eReader was second only to the Samsung Galaxy Tab globally in developer interest. A regional breakdown shows Amazon edging Samsung in North America for the top slot. At 49% very interested in North America, the Kindle Fire is just 4 points less than interest in the iPad (53%) prior to its launch in April 2010
  • Appcelerator and IDC found in January 2011 that among developers price was the single most important factor for Android tablets to compete successfully against the iPad. Fast forward to November 2011 and developers cite price again as the leading reason for interest in the Kindle Fire. Rounding out the top 5 tablets, respondents eye Amazon’s rich content ecosystem, Appstore, target demographic, and eCommerce integration as the key reasons for interest in the new eReader
  • When considering Kindle Fire’s potential drawbacks, fragmentation and lack of features like camera and geo-location were the two top concerns cited by developers. Assuming Amazon sells well this holiday season, Android developers will need to consider yet another set of different capabilities. The difference this time? Google will be less able to exert control over Amazon’s divergent Android path
  • Windows Phone 7 separated from the pack to become the clear number three mobile platform this quarter. The OS climbed 8 points to 38% of respondents saying they are ‘very interested’ in the platform, the highest ever for Microsoft
  • Microsoft is enjoying symbiotic success with Nokia. When asked why developers are more interested in Windows Phone 7 now than a year ago, a plurality (48%) said it was the Microsoft/Nokia partnership. Nokia also received high marks from its new Lumia Windows Phone 7 smartphone announcement last month, with 28% of developers saying they are ‘very interested’ in developing for the device. This is more than double the interest in Nokia’s own Symbian and MeeGo OSes since Appcelerator began reporting mobile platform interest in January 2010
  • This quarter saw a sharp fall-off in developers reporting that they are ‘very interested’ in RIM offerings with BlackBerry OS phones dropping 7 points to 21% and PlayBook QNX-based tablets dropping 6 points to 13%. Put another way, there’s now more interest in Nokia’s new Lumia Windows Phone lineup than RIM’s smartphones
  • HTML5 continues to keep developer interest. Sixty-six percent of developers are very interested in building HTML5 mobile websites, the same as last quarter
  • Connected TV app development interest continues to slide. A year ago, 44% of developers were very interested in developing for Google TV. Even with a second version announced last month, only 20% expressed the same enthusiasm for Google TV this round. However Apple TV saw a smaller decline from 40% a year ago to 27% today
  • iOS continues to reign at number one in developer interest levels with 91% of respondents saying they are ‘very interested’ in developing for the iPhone, followed by the iPad at 88%. Apple continued to hold onto its number one position in part due to iOS 5, which was cited as the most significant announcement this past quarter
  • Android phones fell nearly 4 points to 83% while tablets fell nearly 6 points to 68%. While the drop was likely due in part to interest in iOS 5, developers nevertheless saw Samsung’s rise to the number one smartphone manufacturer as the second most significant development of the past quarter after iOS 5
Find the full report, available for download, here.

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