Watch out, Apple.
According to a sample of 2,200 developers polled by Appcelerator and research group IDC, the Googleplex has nearly caught up to Apple in smartphone popularity, and is rapidly closing the gap in the tablet market, as well.
The joint mobile developer survey revealed that 87% of respondents said they were “very interested” in writing applications for Google Android smartphones, compared with 92% who selected the Apple iPhone as their device of choice.
There are hard numbers to back this up:
Research group comScore has determined that the sales of Android handsets have officially passed those of iPhones in the U.S.
To complete their research, Appcelerator and IDC surveyed 2,235 Appcelerator Titanium developers from 10th to 12th January, 2011 on their perceptions surrounding mobile Operating Systems (OS) priorities, feature priorities and mobile development plans in 2011.
The survey was designed to foster understanding of how new entrants to the tablet market are changing application development priorities and how businesses large and small are accelerating their efforts to build a mobile application strategy to deal with an explosion in apps, mobile devices, Operating Systems and capabilities.
The survey also revealed good news for Apple, however:
Developer interest in Apple's iPad is still going up, rising three percentage points to 87% since the last poll three months ago.
Android tablets still have a long game of catch-up ahead of them if they hope to chase the iPad, but developer interest in writing apps for Android-based tablets jumped 12 points to 74% during the same period.
A majority of respondents also said they are “very interested” in developing for Android tablets, though more than half of developers claimed that price will be the most important factor for success, followed by minimized fragmentation and the availability of the Android 3.0 Honeycomb build.
Price and minimized fragmentation could be big sticking points.
Android platform head Eric Chu said on 25th January that he was displeased with the amount of money rolling in from paid applications.
Meanwhile, phone makers such as Samsung have been slow to roll out upgrades from Android 2.1 (codenamed Éclair) to Android 2.2 (Froyo), which has been out since the beginning of the summer. Despite these issues and the immense popularity of the iPad, Apple will face challenges from several Android machines this year.
IDC and Appcelerator said “85 new, primarily tablets Android” were unveiled or announced at CES, though the Consumer Electronics Association compiled this chart showing more than 100 touch-screen computers.
Two of those shown off include the Motorola Xoom, recently launched, and the upcoming Toshiba Antares tablet.