Game Over: iPad Wins, Android Loses: Page 2

(Page 2 of 2)

And how many apps designed for the iPad? I count 82,670 in the iTunes App Store.

Of course, the current imbalance in app availability is irrelevant. What matters is the future. And the future looks grim.

A recent Appcelerator and IDC survey found that among potential developers, the number who say they are "very interested" in developing for Android tablets has fallen three points, from 74 to 71 percent in just the past three months. Compare this with 86 percent who were "very interested" in developing for iPad.

One of the reasons given was fragmentation. There are currently multiple OS versions and multiple form factors that developers have to design for. Some 63 percent of survey respondents said fragmentation is the biggest risk to the platform.

Another problem is app store confusion. Google has failed to create a cohesive, single app store, so everyone is rushing in with their own apps stores, including

And yet another issue is the "monetizationability" of Android apps. The iOS user base is far more likely to pay real money for an app than Android users. On Android, well over half of all apps are free. On the iPad, the number is well under one-third.

So you can see how there is a huge disconnect between Android users and Android developers. Android users love the wide choice in Android hardware. Developers hate it. Android users love the fact that most Android apps are free. Developers hate it.

The very attributes that make users think Android is unstoppable are the very attributes that will stop it.

At least there's one point of agreement: Android users hate the fact that there are so many app stores, and that those app stores make it difficult to surface great apps. And Developers hate that too.

You can see why developers are cooling on Android. Their choice is to ship on the iPad, where the device is well understood, market share is north of 80 percent and users readily pay real money for apps. Or they can ship on Android, where their app must be optimized for many devices, will be buried in several confusing app stores and they'll never make any money. Very few developers will release exclusively or even initially on Android.

These forces are self-reinforcing. The more apps, the more users. The more users, the more apps.

Of course, competing platforms will always exist. But they'll exist on the margins, outside the mainstream, for power users and special-purpose usage models.

Apple owns the mainstream of touch-tablets, and will continue to do so for at least another decade. The Apple iPad is the Windows of our generation -- the dominant platform that simply can't be killed.

Page 2 of 2

Previous Page
1 2

Tags: Android, mobile, android apps, iPhone, iphone apps

0 Comments (click to add your comment)
Comment and Contribute


(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.