Published on March 4, 2014
Developer Economics Q1, 2014 - The Fresh Snapshot From VisionMobile Art Dogtiev, Head of Branded Content February 27, 2014
The latest report from VisionMobile - conducted in October and November, 2013 - has brought marketers an updated picture of the entirety of the mobile app development ecosystem... As usual, at 55 pages, this is the 6 hour edition, not a 10 minute read. Full of important information to carefully consider and digest, the paper covers 15 platforms: Including Android, Bada, BlackBerry 5/6/7, BlackBerry 10, Chrome, Facebook Firefox OS, iOS, Java ME, HTML5, OSX (desktop), Windows (desktop), Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Tizen. The paper presents the numbers for smartphones vs. smartphones sales over the last five years (2009 to 2013) and shows conclusively that 2013 was the first year when smartphones outsold featured phones. ! The leader among Android OEM is Samsung with 31% in Q3, 2013 and though declining in Q4 with only 18%, still holding the leading position. The reason for Android’s Q4 decline was the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. These models reclaimed certain portion of the market from Android. After Samsung comes Huawei, Lenovo and LG. HTC is not mentioned among the frontrunners, since the company has had several bad quarters in a row, and now it seems like they will not recover. ! Mobile Marketing Agency
To distill the huge volume of this survey we will focus on analyzing five crucial metrics: ! 1. Developer Mindshare 2. Regional Prioritization 3. Adoption Criteria 4. Revenue Opportunities 5. Most Popular Revenue Models ! ! Developer Mindshare The survey is based on information obtained from over 7,000 developers in 127 countries, ranging from US and China to Kenya and Brazil. The global app economy was valued at $68 billion in 2013 and the forecast for 2014 says it will reach $143 billion within the year. ! Among 2.3 million individuals involved in the app development ecosystem, around 760,000 are located in Asia. (Apple’s recent partnership with China Mobile makes complete sense, especially in light of Asia’s dominance amongst the iOS development community.) Mobile Marketing Agency
Between the different platforms this demonstrates (again) that Android has the lead position with 71% and iOS 55% (-1% comparing with the previous survey, within the limits of a statistical error). Combined, these two are holding 94% of the mobile market. ! The surprise comes from the fact that with the huge number of Android handsets that have flooded the market, the number of developers in the Android camp hasn’t increased when compared with the previous survey in Q3. ! Despite all the tech talk that Apple is becoming less relevant, developers don’t seem to pay attention and still see iOS as the most rewarding and engaging development platform. ! On average, developers work on 2.5 platforms, down from 2.9 in Q3 2013: This speaks to consolidation as developers focus on fewer platforms. Most likely developers have tried developing product on several platforms and settled on specializing in the ones they have seen the best results on. Mobile Marketing Agency
Smartphones continue to be the primary target for app developers and it’s unlikely that it will change anytime soon. Developers still focus on developing apps for smartphones, choosing tablets as devices to develop for in conjunction (83%), only 12% surveyed develop for tablets only. The flood of tablets running Android aren’t triggering the interest of the community, and 52% are still developing apps for iPad only, and 28% for Android. ! ! Mindshare by Region and Prioritization Across all continents Android is rated as the number one developing platform: Starting at 67% in North America and up-to 78% in Asia. The least iOS penetration we see in Middle East and Africa and the biggest one North America and Western Europe. ! iOS is still the platform that developers prefer in North America and Europe, while Android wins in other regions. Most likely such split is being dictated by the fact that mid-and-low end unlocked Android devices are cheaper than iOS devices and hence there are more smartphones running Android in the hands of people in South America and Asia. The difference in usage is the most striking in Asia where Android has 46% while iOS only 28%. Mobile Marketing Agency
! Adoption Criteria The survey shows that the idea of the “average developer” is a myth there is no such thing. ! The survey profiles several types of the developer mindshare and they all care about different things: Hunters care about revenue, digital media publishers care about reach, hobbyists care about documentation, enterprise IT developers care about speed and cost. 69% prefer iOS and Android to other platforms, and hence Firefox OS, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Tizen, Jolla and Ubuntu have yet to provide a good enough argument to make developers switch platforms. ! Across the board, Android holds the 1st place position among app platforms -to- developer in different counties. iOS holds the 2nd place position in popularity with developers in Europe and North America, but is 3rd in Asia, Africa and the Middle East (where HTML5 holds the number two spot.) ! You can answer the question, “Which platform (iOS or Android) is first in various geographic locations?” by looking at the map: Mobile Marketing Agency
! Revenue Opportunities One of the most sober findings of the report is that 60% of developers are making >$500 per month, which puts them under the “app poverty line.” ! Among developers that make $500 - $10,000, 37% from the iOS camp and only 25% develop on Android. ! ! Most Popular Revenue Models Besides 16% of developers (a very small percentage) for whom money isn’t the reason they are in app development business, profit is the reason why the majority of developers are pouring their effort and talent into creation of apps. ! At 26%, in-app advertising remains the most popular monetization method amongst developers and in particular it’s strong on platforms where the demand for direct purchases is weak, such as Windows and Android. Mobile Marketing Agency
Contract development is still the most popular monetization model, while developing apps on commission is attributed to only 26% of the market. As you can see from the figure to the right, after contract work and the pay-per-download model - next ranked are in-app purchases, indirect sales roam and in-app advertising/brand awareness. ! The full text of the survey can be downloaded here - ! http://www.developereconomics.com/reports/q1-2014/ ! ! Mobile Marketing Agency
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