Smartphone sales are exploding thanks to demand from developing markets such as India, Latin America, Africa and South East Asia. While majority of the market is controlled by devices running Google Android OS, rival Apple continues to reap the benefits of having the most popular apps on its iOS platform.
Here are some takeaways from the State Of The Developer Nation report that points at key trends among global developers in Q1 2015:
The Platform Wars Are Over
iOS mindshare among developers declined in recent years but is back up to 54%, with it being the primary platform of 37% full-time professional developers. Android on the other hand controls 70% mindshare globally, with 40% full-time professional developers prioritizing the platform.
While Windows Phone’s mindshare continues to grow (currently 30%), devices running on the platform continue to make up just 3% of the market. The share of developers prioritising Microsoft’s platform has climbed slightly to 8%, but the lack of scale means the speed at which top apps make their way to the Windows store is still slow.
The Rise of Apple’s Swift Development Language
20% of all mobile developers are using Swift just 4 months into the launch of the new language, while 2% had already made it their primary language. This is particularly exceptional considering that Swift is still evolving and and tools aren’t mature just yet.
It might look like majority of Swift users may be made up of the 14% developers that were using Objective C as their primary language, but only 44% of them are already using Swift. Nearly half of the Swift Adopters (48%) were users of Objective C but not as their primary language.
The App Economy
As smartphone sales continue to skyrocket, revenues driven through app stores soar and payouts increase. However, 17% of developers who are interested in making money
(not including those purely doing it for fun or learning purposes) make nothing at all. Moreover, the total revenues earned by over 50% of app developers are unsustainable.
Globally, 24% of developers are earning between $1K per month and $10K per month, however in developed markets this group makes up a much smaller percentage of the population. In developed markets while there are more big winners earning over $100k a month, there are also more developers in app poverty.
The Internet of Things
Over half (53%) of all app developers are already working on some kind of IoT project. Smart Home was the most popular category with 37% of mobile developers working on IoT projects targeting it, while wearables were a close second with 35% mindshare.
However the immaturity of the IoT is seen in the fact that 30% of developers are carrying out IoT projects as a hobby, while a further 20% say its more of a side project. There however is an exception the low level of maturity among developers who’re providing tools to or services to others looking to build IoT products.
The most widely used tool by app developers are user analytics, followed by ad networks. In the analytics market, Google Analytics is the most widely used platform on Android, while Flurry is the most widely used on iOS.
Moreover, adoption of third-party tools by developers is on the rise, with only 17% developers out of 8,000 not using any out-of-house solutions. The percentage of developers using cross-platform tools has grown from 23% to 30% over the last 6 months.
More Devs Targeting Enterprise Apps
The number of developers primarily targeting enterprise apps has grown from 16% to 20% in the past 6 months, primarily due to organizations’ willingness to pay. Over 43% of enterprise app developers make more than $10K per month versus 19% of consumer app developers reaching the same revenue level.
While selling to enterprise customers requires great investment in sales, the demand for great mobility solutions in the enterprise space currently outstrips supply. However, the costs of serving consumers too isn’t low – for a typical game a developer shares a third of the gross revenues with the app store, while over half of what’s left is spent on advertising.