Guess what, Eric Schmidt: devs still write for iOS first!

By , Jun 7, 2012

So mere four days before the WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs’ favorite analytics company posts some peculiar numbers making Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt look ridiculous.

Though Android continues to lead the pack in terms of shipments, the iOS train just keeps on chugging along in terms of loyalty and profitability.

Seven out of ten mobile apps in the first five months of this year were built for Apple’s platform, where developers on average earn four times more revenue…

Note: don’t interpret this as a hate post. We’ll always be for competition. I’ve been heavily investing into Apple and Google platforms over the years and am loving both my Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S.

First on that Schmidt quote from the LeWeb conference last December, via CNET:

Ultimately, application vendors are driven by volume, and volume is favored by the open approach Google is taking.

There are so many manufacturers working so hard to distribute Android phones globally that whether you like Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) or not – and again I like it a great deal – you will want to develop for that platform, and perhaps even first.

Responding to a question from an Android-toting audience member who was frustrated with iPhone exclusives, Schmidt said (and this is gold):

My prediction is that six months from now you’ll say the opposite.

Time for a reality check.

First up, seven months into Ice Cream Sandwich and this latest and greatest Android software is only found on 7.1 percent of Android phones. iOS 5 is reportedly found on up to 80 percent of active iOS devices.

I’ll get to the ‘why’ of such a disappointing ICS uptake in a second.


This great illustration courtesy of TechCrunch

Now, latest survey from advertising and analytics company Flurry – based on data collected from more than 70,000 companies across 185,000+ mobile apps –  proves developers still write apps for iOS first.

For every 10 apps that developers build, roughly seven are for iOS.

This is a chart showing developers interest in terms of new project starts.

The reason for the four percentage points drop in iOS interest since the holiday quarter:

While Google made some gains in Q1 2012, edging up to over 30 percent for the first time in a year, we believe this is largely due to seasonality, as Apple traditionally experiences a spike in developer support leading up to the holiday season.

So, why do those right-minded programmers favor Apple’s platform?

For the same reasons as before: money and fragmentation.

Developers earn on Apple’s platform four times the Android revenue, per Flurry. Or, for every dollar earned on iOS developers can expect to make 24-cents on Android.

Flurry sums it up nicely.

Android delivers less gain and more pain than iOS, which we believe is the key reason 7 out of every 10 apps built in the new economy are for iOS instead of Android.

I’ve opined before that Android-toting users aren’t accustomed to paying for quality as Google’s ecosystem is largely ad-driven.

What’s even more telling is that Flurry’s findings are fairly consistent with their research published just a week after Schmidt had made his outrageous claim.

So here we are six months later and Schmidt’s douchebag critique of iOS has proven terribly off base.

I wonder how this executive feels about his reputation knowing the overwhelming majority of developers pledge allegiance to Apple’s platform.


WWDC 2012 banner: “where great apps go on to do great things”

Yes, the iPhone lost a few exclusives as popular apps like Path, Instagram, Instapaper got ported over to Android.

It’s nothing to write home about: developers are entitled to target whichever platform they choose in order maximize their revenue.

More $$$ means more quality apps for everyone.

Smart, no?

Let’s look at tablets.

With the tablet market belonging to Apple, no wonder the iPad accounted for a whopping 88 percent of all tablet user sessions. The remaining twelve percent gets distributed between Samsung’s Galaxy Tab (nine percent) and Amazon’s Kindle Fire (three percent).

Here below we see fragmentation by Android firmware.

Yes, it’s a huge issue.

Another one depicting Android firmware fragmentation.

And this is a heatmap representing nearly 4,000 Android devices (via TechCrunch).

And this is what developing for Android looks like (also via TechCrunch)

Developers typically have to test their work against at least 400 Android devices before pushing their apps out.

I think you can imagine the headaches and the sheer time-suck that Android fragmentation imposes on bedroom programmers or even mid-sized studios.

Contrast this to Apple’s ecosystem divided into two screen sizes (3.5 inch iPhones and iPod touches and 9.7-inch iPads), with two resolution presets each (Retina and non-Retina).

We’re looking forward to latest platform stats as Google and Apple run their respective developer events, both taking place in San Francisco. Apple’s conference runs June-15 and Google’s is scheduled for June 27-29.

So we ran an interesting poll asking whether our readers get worked up over iPhone exclusives going Android.

Turns out the results were pretty evenly spread out between ‘Yes, top apps should be exclusive to iOS’, ‘No, competition is good’ and ‘I don’t care’.

Of course, we here at iDB are all for competition as each company forces the other to keep innovating or risk being left behind.

The Android freight train?

I’ll just leave it at this for now.

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  • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

    Hahaha great article

  • http://twitter.com/prenz_t Prenz V. Tandoc

    Let me guess,an Apple fanboy wrote this article?

    • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

      No Christian is correct android is really fragmented. He needs to work on less bias titles though

    • http://twitter.com/J_Walker75 The Pied Piper

      I find that saying funny.”It’s like saying nah nah boo boo” How about you say “The Truth Fanboy”

  • http://twitter.com/MrFireh0tz MrFirehOtz

    Less people upgrade on Android because they are not constantly reminded too

    • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

      Haha no
      It’s because they cant, and I don’t mind a little badge on my settings app

    • ReanimationXP

      Learn to use the right form of ‘to’ if you’re going to attempt to troll successfully. And if you’re implying that infrequent updates are a good thing? Just.. hurl yourself off something high please.

  • http://twitter.com/macboy76 Michael Alejandro

    One of many reasons why I will never use Android.

    • maurid

      We’ll see about that.

      • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

        No we won’t. Can’t wait for the look on Eric’s Schmidts face when iOS 6 is released

    • http://twitter.com/Jack_maredit Jackson Grong

      Me too. I just love my iPad and this will never change.

  • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

    I love my headlines punchy but you could be right, I guess some of them could use a little dialing down :)

    • alant126

      It is a great headline. I wouldn’t change it.

      • KewlDewd

        I would change the grammar issue, but this blog doesn’t like editing their posts, except sometimes after their readers correct them in the comments.

        “Guess what, Eric Schmidt?” is that a question? Is he asking him what is being guessed? Or is he telling him to guess? As in, “Guess what, Eric Schmidt. (period)” I’m pretty sure he meant the latter.

      • Kok Hean

        I’m pretty sure it’s just a rhetorical question.

      • KewlDewd

        @ Kok Hean No, it’s not a question. He changed it. I like that they’ll fix their mistakes sometimes, but I still say this blog needs an editor to take it to the next level, and more importantly, to make it easier to read.

    • globaloffensive

      Not just the title. But all your articles spew hate up on all the companies but Apple. Why do you have to do that ? I find it hard to believe someone would be so hateful of anything but Apple. If you are a real tech enthusiast, you’d embrace technology and products from all the companies. Apple, just by themselves, cannot design and sell the wonderful products that you and I use. There are 10s and 100s of companies involved in the design of a mobile device. If your articles reflect what you believe, then your knowledge of technology is the same as that of a 7 yr old. If you tell me that you write such articles for page hits and fanboy praise, I agree.
      Your writings are overflown with hatred for Samsung and Google. Do you really believe Apple’s product would be as good as they are now if it weren’t for some(actually huge) contributions from Samsung and Google? Do you really believe Google maps, earth are inferior products? being a fanboy is one thing; but you are taking fanboyism to a superlative level! It is great that Google, Samsung, HTC, Windows and Nokia are competing in the mobile space. It is great for a consumer.

      I’ve been a long time fan of idb since Sebastian used to run the whole show. Now with Jeff it is even more awesome. Please keep this site clean with intellectual, useful articles and comments.

      Don’t take this personal: Not just tone down, but you have to change your attitude towards competition completely.

      You could say, why I bothered to read and comment! :) well I now can just say I tried! If this continues, I’d just politely ignore your articles and read the ones by Jeff, Sebastian, Cody and others cos idb is one of my fav sites.

      • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

        Thanks for your comment, read it in its entirety :)

        Now, I’m not diminishing the contributions of Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, Google, Microsoft and other great companies. I also believe that competition is a key driver in this space. Another thing I believe in: Innovation.

        I also believe in good journalism and great writing. And because iDB is not CNN, this sometimes involves using strong language to get the point across, especially with heated debates such as Apple vs Google, Google vs Microsoft, Apple vs Microsoft, Apple vs Nokia, Samsung vs Everyone Else, etc.

        Keep in mind that everyone seems to be fighting Apple in one form or another. Also, Apple is waging wars against rivals on many levels.

        So you’ve got your hero, your enemies, lawsuits, scandals, fanboys, hate talk – the whole drama.

        Now, if the definition of a fanboy entails being passionate about the subject and strongly defending one’s stance with solid arguments then yes sir, I’m the biggest fanboy the world’s ever seen.

        You may dislike the tone of my article, my writing style or grammar and my fanboyism but I presented the fact accurately.

        Did I call out Eric Schmidt?

        Absolutely!

        I found his claim outrageous in the first place. Please don’t kill the messenger just because the realities proved Schmidt terribly wrong.

        BTW, I actually created a reminder on my iPhone to write this article after six months have passed :)

      • globaloffensive

        Well, more than anybody in Apple, you seem to feel so strongly about the need to defend Apple in every possible way. Every week 10s of big executives from different companies come out and say that they can beat/ overtake/ are better than Apple. Does Apple care ? No! Cos they know they do best on what they set out to. You don’t have to be so defensive about a mere gadget.
        Remember the stretched out ipod touch joke that people made on iPad ? Who is laughing now ? But that doesn’t mean Apple(or any of Apple fans) had to go after each one of who made fun of them and Verbally abuse them! The answer from Apple is in the millions of iPads they sell every month!

        As a consumer, you don’t have to pick sides. If you did and are as passionate as you sound, then you would not use any Samsung product; would not use Google search, maps, earth, gmail, MS-anything ! Imagine how that would be!

        Try to write a few articles in a mellow/ unbiased/ non-war-like tone! You might like them too ;) peace!

      • http://twitter.com/diredmd2 Techno Geek

        Thats awesome about setting the reminder lol

  • Obsidian71

    Truth hurts I suppose.

    Eric Schmidt made a statement that didn’t seem believable then. He also said many HDTV would have Google built in. We’re at the halfway point of 2012 and nothing Schmidt has said has come true.

    If he was some analyst spewing garbage I’d understand but what he did was irresponsible as a Google Exec.

    Even when making a statement that seem rather innocuous your word is inextricably linked to that statement and Google has not lived up to Schmidt’s wild prognostications.

    Attacking Christian doesn’t alter this fact.

  • Loopthree

    This, in a nutshell, is why I prefer Apple devices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1039476383 Saïd Ait Yahiaoui

    No comment !! V-G article !!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1595420643 Simche Apple Konstantinovic

    Apple really did it good for their developers :) Great Job indeed, because without them, we wouldn’t have the apps we use today :)

  • http://twitter.com/klau1001 KLau

    reading the chart on the top 20 android device…
    can anyone tell me what the difference is between “Samsung Galaxy S II”(1st), “Samsung Galaxy S II”(12th) and “Samsung GALAXY S2″(15th) ????

    • setzer715

      It’s because here in the US every carrier is VERY different in technology and frequency. So Samsung had to create a T-Mobile US Galaxy S II, then an ATT US Galaxy S II, then a Sprint US Galaxy S II followed by a Verizon Galaxy S II and lastly a Galaxy S II for the rest of the world.