Developers Cooling on iPad, Meanwhile Android “Surges”
Posted 03/31/2010 at 5:18am | by J.R. Bookwalter
If a new report is to be believed, developers’ enthusiasm for the iPad is losing some of its lustre -- while the Android platform is surging. Somebody better tell that to all the iPhone OS developers who are tripping over themselves to get their apps in users’ hands when the iPad is finally available this weekend. Computerworld is reporting on how developers are apparently cooling to Apple’s iPad -- even before it hits stores -- “because the tablet lacks multitasking and a camera,” according to one company.
Appcelerator surveyed 1,000 developers earlier this month, with 80 percent of them chiming in with plans to create an iPad application within the next year. That sounds like good news, until you realize that a similar poll taken two months ago prior to Apple unveiling the iPad had 90 percent of developers ready to take the plunge.
"Before the announcement, there was tons of hype about the iPad, and tons of speculation about its features," said Appcelerator head of marketing Scott Schwarzhoff. "After, it was clear that a couple of key features wouldn't make it in the first round, including a camera and multitasking. That's nothing that can't be fixed down the road, but it did temper enthusiasm."
Schwarzhoff is quick to note, however, that the 10-point drop isn’t a total surprise: It’s just reality setting in after the device had such lofty dreams in many people’s minds. "Their reasoning seems pretty solid," he argued. "Like consumers, developers are trying to wrap their arms around the iPad.”
53 percent of the developers polled said they were “very interested” in the iPad platform, down from 58 percent in January. But those results put the tablet in third place, behind the iPhone with 87 percent and Google’s Android with 81 percent. But don’t cry for the iPad, because it’s still way ahead of the pack, with the Blackberry at only 43 percent and Windows Phone 7 at a mere 34 percent.
The big surprise in Appcelerator’s findings is that Google’s Android is making such a strong showing -- the platform has nearly caught up with the iPhone in the two months since the January survey, where earlier the gap was much wider at 18 points. By the March poll, the iPhone’s lead had narrowed to only six points.
“There’s no way that the iPad cannot not do well,” Schwarzhoff concludes. “Basically, developers are saying that the iPhone and Android are the mandatory requirements. But the most important trend is Android. That’s the platform to watch.”