Microsoft/Nokia partnership paying off as developers eye Windows Phone

Windows Phone 7 logoiOS and Android still lead the pack when it comes to luring mobile developers, but Windows Phone has solidified its status as the third most attractive smartphone OS ahead of BlackBerry, according to a new survey by IDC and mobile app development vendor Appcelerator. Not surprisingly, 91 percent of developers are "very interested" in developing for the iPhone and 83 percent are very interested in developing for Android phones. Windows Phone, by comparison, merits that level of attention from just 38 percent of survey respondents. But that is a rise of 8 percentage points since June and, coupled with RIM dropping 7 points to 21 percent, Windows is now the clear third choice.

"When asked why developers are more interested in Windows Phone 7 now than a year ago, a plurality (48 percent) said it was the Microsoft/Nokia partnership," the IDC/Appcelerator report states. "Nokia also received high marks from its new Lumia Windows Phone 7 smartphone announcement last month, with 28 percent of developers saying they are ‘very interested’ in developing for the device."

The IDC/Appcelerator survey queried 2,160 developers who use Appcelerator's development platform. Because the survey is limited to Appcelerator users, the results may not be indicative of the entire mobile development community. Still, the survey is conducted four times a year and can illustrate shifting development priorities. The huge numbers posted by iPhone and Android were unchanged from the previous survey, suggesting that developers having success with the major platforms are looking to add a new one to their arsenals, perhaps to replace lost interest in BlackBerry.

We noted back in May that Microsoft is trying to entice iOS developers by releasing "a guide to help iOS developers translate from iOS APIs to Windows Phone ones, a development guide specifically for iOS developers, and first-hand accounts on porting iPhone applications to Windows Phones." While that effort may be showing fruit, there is still much room for improvement. The Windows Phone marketplace has about 38,000 applications, while the iPhone store has more than a half-million. In terms of device sales, Windows Phone is still far behind iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

Additionally, Windows Phone itself is garnering much less interest than HTML5 mobile Web applications, as 66 percent of surveyed developers reported high interest in developing HTML5 apps, unchanged from the previous survey. The survey also took a look at various tablets and other mobile OSes. For example, the iPad has high interest from 88 percent of developers; Android tablets from 68 percent; BlackBerry PlayBook 13 percent; the HP Touchpad 9 percent; Symbian devices 7 percent; webOS phones 6 percent; and MeeGo 5 percent.

IDC and Appcelerator also gauged developer interest in the Kindle Fire. "Findings reveal that Amazon’s new Kindle Fire edged Samsung Galaxy Tab as the number one most popular Android Tablet in North America, on par with interest for the iPad prior to its launch in April 2010, and second only to the Galaxy Tab globally with developers," Appcelerator said.

Worldwide, 56 percent of developers reported interest in the Galaxy Tab, compared to 43 percent in the Kindle Fire, and 17 percent for the Barnes & Noble Nook platform. In North America, however, the Kindle Fire leads the Galaxy Tab 49 percent to 48 percent, and that is just shy of the 53 percent score the iPad gained just prior to its launch last year. The Kindle Fire is US-only at launch.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Android, iOS, mobile phones, tablets, Windows Phone 7

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