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Developers still favor Apple's iOS over Android

When devoting their resources to new applications, developers remain much more keen on iOS than Android, according to a new report from mobile analytics firm Flurry.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Despite the boom in Android's market share, Apple's iOS is still holding onto the hearts and minds of most app developers, says mobile analytics firm Flurry.

Analyzing both iOS and Android for a new study, Flurry calculated the number of new projects launched by developers on both platforms this past year.

Looking at more than 16,000 new app projects, stats for the fourth quarter alone showed 73 percent of developers choosing to target iOS and 27 percent opting for Android.

Those percentages were virtually the same for the previous two quarters but showed an increase from the first quarter, when 63 percent favored iOS and 37 percent were eyeing Android.

Though both platforms grew this past year, Flurry believes iOS got the nod from developers due to several key events.

First, Apple expanded its U.S. market for the iPhone by branching out to Verizon Wireless in February and Sprint in October.

Second, the company launched its iPad 2 in February and the iPhone 4S in October, further boosting developer support for and interest in its devices.

In contrast, Android may dominate the mobile market in the U.S. but lacks a true flagship device to entice developers.

Another key reason? Money.

App developers say they make about three or four times as much money on IOS as on Android, according to the study. Flurry also looked at the same apps on both IOS and Android and found that on average, the same app that took in a dollar through Apple generated only 24 cents on Android.

To tap into Flurry's mobile analytics, developers download platform-specific development kits, giving Flurry insight into which mobile operating systems are most in demand. Though developers often target more than one platform, many of those with limited time and resources will choose the one that provides the biggest bang for the buck.

More than 55,000 developers currently use Flurry's analytics for more than 135,000 mobile apps, according to the company. Around 50,000 new app projects were recorded by Flurry in 2011 alone.