Smartphone developers choosing to include the Flurry usage statistics tool in their apps tend to contact Flurry early in application development. So Flurry have a leading indicator of what app developments are getting underway. They have used this information to produce a lot of interesting stats about the smartphone market, in what they call the "Smartphone Industry Pulse (July 2009)" Data from Flurry features in my last post , but I also wanted to discuss their data on projects getting underway for Android and for iPhone.
In the first half of 2009, the number of Android projects incorporating Flurry increased - Android projects made up 10% in January, up to 20% in June (over 200 projects started in June). Flurry have this rather striking graph:
This graph looks pretty alarming for Apple, until one also knows that the total number of smartphone apps was increasing dramatically over this time. The following chart shows the number of iPhone projects - rising from 200 in February to just over 1,000 in July.
(The corresponding Android graph is available on the the "Smartphone Industry Pulse (July 2009)" post of the Flurry blog, along with much other interesting data).
Some thoughts about this:
First the caveat - these data are only about projects that include Flurry (possibly the pattern would be different if we had data about all the apps that don't plan to track usage)
Secondly - loss of market share by Apple is probably inevitable now that other players are in the market big time.But since when was Apple about market share? I see them as a sort of computer Bang & Olufsen - making highly designed, high quality and expensive stuff for the part of the market that likes it, and leaving other companies to scrap over the mass-market.
Lastly, I wonder how many of the Andriod projects are apps that are ALSO being developed for iPhone. As far as I know it is difficult and risky to develop the one app for multiple platforms (technical issues, and Apple are said to be sniffy about passing any app not built with their SDK ). So developers may be forced into running twin projects, just we we used to do in the late '90s to develop desktop apps for Mac and PC.
I have unhappy memories about developing for the cranky PowerMacs of that era! You could use file extensions that had profound powers on the Macintosh OS. On a good day that was excellent, but on most days you ended up with a gang of file extensions fighting each other like a sackful of cats until the OS keeled over. To make things more frustrating, patches to the OS would suddenly declare a particular file extension persona non grata and uninstall it. That happen to one of my projects just before it was about to launch. Hence the joke of the time - "Q. What does MACINTOSH stand for? A. Most Applications Crash, If Not, The Operating System Hangs." [For balance I should say that the counter-joke wasn't bad either: "Q. What does MICROSOFT stand for? A. Most Intelligent Customers Realize Our Software Only Fools Toddlers ] All that put me right off Macs until quite recently - and should remind me to be a bit patient with strictnesses Apple might want to impose about use of their SDK.
One more thing - if you include Flurry on an Apple application, do you have a MacFlurry? ;-)