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Developer Interest in Android Plateaus

Appcelerator and International Data Corporation (IDC) announced results from a joint survey of mobile developers around the world.

For more information visit: www.idc.com ; www.appcelerator.com


Unedited press release follows:

Apple Shines, Google Slows, and Microsoft Edges RIM in Battle for Mobile Developer Mindshare

New Appcelerator-IDC Report Highlights Shakeup in Major Platform Interest

Android Issues Compound Already Fragmented Mobile Industry

Mobile Cloud Opportunity Grabs Center Stage

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. and FRAMINGHAM, Mass., April 26, 2011 – Appcelerator®, the leading mobile cloud platform for rapidly developing native mobile, desktop, and tablet applications using web technologies, and industry-leading analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC), today announced results from a joint survey of more than 2,700 Appcelerator developers around the world. The survey reveals that developer momentum is shifting back toward Apple as fragmentation and tepid interest in current Android tablets chip away at Google’s recent momentum gains. The report also reveals the rise of the ‘mobile cloud’, a major trend toward connected mobility that promises to partially address the issue of fragmentation and radically transform the relationship between business and customer.

The Appcelerator-IDC Q2 2011 Mobile Developer Report, taken April 11-13, shows that interest in Android has recently plateaued as concerns around fragmentation and disappointing results from early tablet sales have caused developers to pull back from their previous steadily increasing enthusiasm for Google’s mobile operating system. While this opens the door a crack for new entrants, nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that it is not possible for Microsoft, RIM, HP, and Nokia to reverse momentum relative to Apple and Google. Underscoring the fluidity of the mobile ecosystem, and in a peculiar turn of events, recent simultaneous drops in developer interest in Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry OSes moved Windows Phone 7 ahead of BlackBerry to claim the third spot in developer interest. Also featured in this report is an analysis of the six layers of fragmentation (including Android) that are increasingly frustrating developers, a fresh take on mobile apps vs. mobile web, and a look at how the ubiquity of the ‘mobile cloud’ is addressing fragmentation and defining a powerful new trend toward always-on computing. The full report can be viewed at: http://appcel.us/q2_2011_report.

Apple Maintains Leadership While Google, Microsoft, RIM, Nokia Lose Steam

With over a trillion dollars in market cap at play in today’s mobile platform wars, there is little room for error in strategy or execution. This past quarter showed that even strong announcements and solid product introductions can still leave contenders to Apple’s app developer mindshare dominance at risk of falling further behind. Key findings of this survey include:

• Apple iOS interest remains high with 91% of developers saying they are ‘very interested’ in iPhone development and 86% are very interested in developing for the iPad.

• Google witnessed a plateau in its earlier momentum gains. Reported interest in Android phones fell two points to 85% and Android tablets fell three points to 71% after increasing twelve points in Q1. Although technically within standard deviations, these drops stand in contrast to steadily increasing developer interest in Android over the last year and are consistent with an increase in developer frustration with Android. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents said that device fragmentation in Android poses the biggest risk to Android, followed by weak initial traction in tablets (30%) and multiple Android app stores (28%).

• When it comes to fragmentation, Android’s issues are not the number one fragmentation concern among developers. In fact, fragmentation in mobile today is six layers deep. Android fragmentation only ranks third behind the fragmentation of skills (e.g.: Objective-C vs. Java), and the fragmentation of OS capabilities (e.g.: iOS vs. Android vs. WP7). This context sheds light on how fragmentation within the Android operating system compounds an already larger problem, and it will be a critical issue for Google to address and an opportunity for competitors like Microsoft, HP, Nokia, and RIM to exploit.

• While 71% of developers are very interested in Android as a tablet OS, only 52% are very interested in one of the leading Android tablet devices today, the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Further down the list, only 44% are very interested in the Motorola Xoom and 31% in the upcoming HTC Flyer. Smaller players (Acer, Archos, etc.) register minimal interest. In short, the promise of an Android tablet is appealing, but the reality of currently, or soon-to-be, shipping devices is disappointing to developers.

• Microsoft edges RIM to become the third horse, but there is not much cause for celebration in Redmond as respondents’ interest in Microsoft and RIM dropped substantially compared to last quarter. Microsoft fell seven points, with only 29% of developers saying they are ‘very interested’ in the Windows Phone 7, while BlackBerry phones dropped eleven points to 27%. On the upside, and partly as a result of Microsoft’s partnership announcement with Nokia, Windows Phone 7 interest fell four points less than BlackBerry to make Microsoft the new number three in developer interest behind Apple and Google.

• Despite Android’s apparent plateau and potential slight pullback, the road to becoming number two will be long for either Microsoft or RIM. In fact, 62% of respondents say it will be impossible for anyone to catch up to market leaders Apple and Google. Beyond market share concerns, however, Microsoft’s biggest problem with developers may simply be available time, as noted by the 46% of respondents who indicated, “I have my hands full with iOS and/or Android.” In addition to landing major distribution partnerships and exploiting Android’s fragmentation and security holes, making app migrations from iOS and Android to Windows Phone 7 easy and profitable for developers will be critical for Microsoft.

“Android remains an exceptionally strong OS but the cumulative effect of unresolved issues with the Android ecosystem is taking a toll on developers,” notes report series co-author Scott Ellison, vice president of Mobile & Connected Consumer Platforms, IDC. “The challenge for Google will be to better align app developer momentum with the momentum of Android device shipment numbers, and therein lies a competitive opportunity for Microsoft, Nokia and RIM,” he notes.

The Mobile Cloud Grabs Center Stage as a Key Trend and Market Opportunity

As mobile device shipments surpass desktop shipments, the demand for software, information, and data portability becomes ever greater. The result is that the single, three-tier web model used for the past 15 years is now giving way to a distributed, cloud-based and cloud-connected services model primarily accessed by mobile devices. This dynamic introduces a new “mobile cloud” era in the form of always-on, always connected computing. The opportunity for innovation in the mobile cloud is huge, as it represents the future of how disparate software, data, and information sources will connect to, and help solve the fragmentation issues between, the multiple devices and multiple operating systems that are now defining the new computing world order.

This quarter, Appcelerator and IDC surveyed developers and businesses on the extent to which they use the mobile cloud in their applications and which cloud-enabled and cloud-based services are most important. Key mobile cloud findings include:

• 84% of respondents said that they are using at least one cloud-enabled or cloud-based service in their applications today.

• 44 services with mobile cloud components were surveyed across 8 major categories. Developers ranked the importance of each area by the services they plan to use over the next 12-18 months:

- 78% are using social cloud services such as Facebook or Twitter
- 70% are using commerce (e.g.: PayPal, Apple)
- 70% are connecting to their own behind-the-firewall enterprise services such as Oracle, SAP or another backend database
- 65% are streaming media such as YouTube or flickr
- 65% are using real-time messaging such as Urban Airship
- 42% are displaying mobile ads from services such as iAd or AdMob
- 54% use analytics in their applications such as Omniture, Appcelerator, or Flurry
- 44% deploy cloud platform services to Amazon, Microsoft Azure, etc.

• Multiple clouds define the mobile cloud: developers and businesses, on average, plan to use 13 of the 44 services with mobile cloud components polled in their applications now and over the coming 12-18 months.

• These mobile cloud-enabled services are increasingly being accessed through both mobile applications and mobile websites: over 80% of mobile app developers said they either are building or plan to build mobile websites this year. However, most respondents indicated that the revenue opportunity, customer demand, and user experience still strongly favors mobile applications.

“With over 20,000 native mobile applications in the Appcelerator Titanium portfolio today, we have seen an overriding theme emerge: mobile and cloud-connectivity are together defining the context and engagement of the key mobile app scenarios in use today,” explained Jeff Haynie, CEO, Appcelerator. “It is important for any business looking at mobile to have a strategy around a well-orchestrated integration between the cloud and mobile applications.”

Key Issue: Addressing Fragmentation to Realize the Mobile Cloud Opportunity

In a very short period of time, multiple mobile OSes, skillsets, mobile devices, form factors (e.g.: tablet and phone), multi-app portfolios, and Android permutations have introduced fragmentation issues six layers deep. At the same time, there is a dramatic increase in cloud-enabled and cloud-based services coming from every major player in the IT industry. The imperative for any business now is to determine a mobile strategy that is flexible enough to withstand the complexities and rapid changes coming from both the mobile platform and cloud perspectives. This survey helps companies understand how these two trends are coming together and how a well thought out strategy can help overcome the challenge of fragmentation to capitalize on the enormous opportunity that mobile and cloud offers today.

A complete breakdown of these trends and a full analysis of how businesses are building a mobile cloud strategy are available online: http://appcel.us/q2_2011_report

About Appcelerator
Appcelerator is the leading enterprise-grade, cross-platform development solution on the market today, with over 1.5 million developers using its software to power over 20,000 cloud-connected mobile, desktop, and web applications used by tens of millions of users every day. The company’s flagship offering, Appcelerator Titanium, is the only mobile cloud platform to enable fully native, cross-platform development, from a single codebase, at web development speed for these three platforms. Appcelerator’s customers can leverage their existing skills and open, industry standard technologies to decrease time-to-market and development costs, increase customer adoption and revenues, and enjoy greater flexibility and control. For more information, please visit www.appcelerator.com.

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

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