Yes, you read that correctly. Tablets are nipping at smartphones’ heels in app development market.
According to IDC, nearly the same amount of mobile app developers expect to build for tablets as they do for smartphones. The survey comes from a study conducted this April, in which Appcelerator and IDC surveyed more than 6,000 developers.
Here’s a breakdown of the stats from the study:
Emil Protalinski covered the study in The Next Web:
“Over the next six months, nearly an equivalent percentage of mobile app developers expect to build for tablets as for smartphones: 81.34 percent vs. 84 percent, respectively. Since 2010, the number of developers focusing on enterprise apps has jumped from 38 percent to 51 percent, and the figure is further expected to rise as high as 63 percent by the end of the year.”
…. The fact tablet development has now caught up to smartphone development is noteworthy, as is the increasing focus on the enterprise, but one trend that hasn’t changed is developers’ interest in building for multiple operating systems.”
Protalinski makes an interesting point; developers continue to develop and launch apps for different operating systems, and it’s not a trend that is expected to go away. App-makers are continually broadening their dev skills to build apps for an array of mobile devices, OS, carriers – you name it. What’s striking is that it is extremely difficult to develop for multi-platforms well. Some app developers have learned the importance of real world testing their apps across different OS’s in different locations in order to achieve app success, and others realize that if they don’t develop for multi-platforms they will miss out on a potentially huge user-base.
Whatever the cause, the trend remains; the app matrix is not getting any smaller and in order to survive in today’s technology-driven consumer world you need to be able to cover as much of that app matrix as possible.