Is Android the Best Focus for Mobile Developers?

Susan Hall
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Fred Wilson, a guy who's come up with a cool way to attach an iPad to his treadmill, delves into the issue of where mobile developers should focus their energy. Wilson is a principal of Union Square Ventures and writer of the A VC blog.


I've written that with demand hot for mobile developers, they can come up with some pretty sweet jobs. But developers and companies alike, the issue becomes choosing between Apple, Android, RIM, Microsoft and Palm platforms.


Wilson comes up with three reasons why it makes sense to go with Android:

  • Looking at third-quarter market-share numbers from comScore, Android posts 6.5 percent growth, compared to Apple's 0.8 percent growth and declines for the others. (As blogger Carl Weinschenk, two other research firms also favor Android.) Wilson believes BlackBerry users who want a keyboard are moving to Android.
  • Costs are coming down-T-Mobile offers a $30 Android smartphone-and he sees first-time smartphone buyers going with Android.
  • He also calls Palm and Windows declining "also-rans." He believes users of those phones will choose Android over iPhones, though that might change with an iPhone on Verizon. (ITBE blogger Rob Enderle believes you shouldn't dismiss the Windows Phone 7, though.)


In the end, he concludes:

So, when thinking about where to invest your precious mobile development resources, I'd say Android first and iPhone second. And think hard about HTML5. You may want to hedge your bets by having a kick ass HTML5 experience. I learned ... last week that there is an awesome open source library called Phone Gap that lets you port HTML5 apps to Android, iOS, Blackberry, Palm, and Symbian. Seems like developing in HTML5 and then porting to the mobile OS platforms is an interesting option as well.
One thing I am sure of is that developing solely for iOS, which is a very common thing I see out there, is not the right strategy unless you only want to serve 25% of the market.

Check out the interesting comments on his post republished at Business Insider, including naysayers who argue that Android is too fragmented.

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