iPhone dominates VC-backed mobile apps

Start-ups creating mobile applications are supporting too many operating systems. Look for more to focus on the Apple smartphone and and Google's Android OS.

Sixty-seven percent of 2009's venture-backed mobile-application start-ups are developing their app to work on multiple platforms--namely, the top six mobile operating systems: iPhone, Palm, RIM, Android, Symbian, and Windows, according to new data from research firm Chubby Brain, 67.

Of the 33 percent that are developing platform-specific applications, development for the iPhone dominates all other platforms with slightly less than half of the investment dollars. This makes sense for a number of reasons, primarily the fact that the App Store is the easiest and clearest path to monetizing said applications.

Mobile OS
Mobile OS Chubby Brain

What's interesting about this data is that developers are actively supporting six different platforms for different reasons. For example, you need to support Symbian to reach a broad group of users, and you need to support Android to try to reach what could be the next big swath of mobile devices. But managing development efforts for all of those platforms will eventually become a major headache.

I suspect that we'll see a further shift to devices supporting Apple's iPhone, Research In Motion's BlackBerry, and Google's Android operating systems over time, as smartphone functionality becomes more important on a global scale.

Follow me on Twitter @daveofdoom.

About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.

 

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