The growth in popularity of Google’s Android mobile operating system has come to a halt, according to a new survey.
The study from Appcelerator and IDC questioned developers on their OS preferences for making apps and it seems the excitement around Android faltered this month, with Apple’s iOS regaining ground.
Of the 2,760 developers questioned, 85 per cent were interested in developing for Android mobile phones – down two per cent from January this year – compared to 91 per cent for the iPhone.
Interest in tablet development for Android fell even further, down three points to 71 per cent, whilst interest in developing apps for Apple’s iPad came in at 86 per cent.
Although the numbers might seem small at first glance, they contradict the relative growth Google has been seeing from the developer community. For example, interest in developing for Android tablets grew by 12 per cent just three months ago.
When asked for the reasons of this fall in desire to develop for the platform, the clearest answer was device fragmentation. Almost two thirds of developers cited this as their biggest doubt around the mobile OS.
On top of this, 30 per cent said they were concerned by the poor sales of Android tablets so far and 28 per cent were worried about multiple app stores.
But it was not just Google coming off bad in the report. BlackBerry-makers Research in Motion (RIM) were pipped at the post for third most popular OS with developers by relative youngsters in the game, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.
However, neither looked great, as although interest in RIM fell 11 per cent to 27 per cent, Microsoft also fell by seven points to 29 per cent.
Google should take comfort in the fact the majority of developers – 62 per cent – thought it would be impossible for any of its rivals to catch up with Google and Apple’s market dominance though. Also, 46 per cent of developers said they were too busy developing for the first two to have time to work on apps for the other mobile platforms.
“With over a trillion dollars in market cap at play in today’s mobile platform wars, there’s little room for error in strategy or execution,” said the report.
“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.”
This article originally appeared at itpro.co.uk