Android Phones Outsell iPhones by a Wide Margin, but App Developers are Loyal to iOS

It’s no big secret that smartphones running Google’s Android OS outsell iPhones by more than two-to-one. Here’s the kicker, though: app developers are far more loyal to Apple than they are to Google’s platform. Games and apps tend to show up first on iPhone, and the Android is a secondary market–provided said app shows up on the Android at all. It’s the iPhone’s steady stream of software that makes the iPhone such a fierce competitor in the busy smartphone market.

Over the weekend, the New York Times published an in-depth look at the reasons why app developers have remained loyal to iPhone despite Android’s larger user base. Most developers find it easier to make software for iOS, and the market is also more lucrative.

Big-name games like Angry Birds often get Android ports, but many iOS titles slip through Android’s net.

Also, there’s the not-too-small issue of Android fragmentation. Android’s OS powers multiple phone models, which makes it difficult–and costly–for app developers to ensure that their program will run consistently across different smartphone models. iOS is far more unified by comparison, and attractive to developers who can safely bet that iPhone owners are keeping their software up-to-date.

Another reason iOS woos so many developers is the iPad. Whereas smartphone sales belong to Android, Apple still has the tablet market in a lock. App designers can write a program for the iPhone, then easily adapt it for the iPad.

What about you? Does the availability of applications have any impact on your allegiance to iOS or Android OS?

[via New York Times]

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