Developers: Up with iOS, down with HTML5

A survey of developers shows that their interest is in iOS, while Android and Windows 8 get mixed reviews

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Insofar as there is interest in developing for Windows 8, King commented: "Going in, we expected it to be Microsoft's support for the tablet and the fact that the Surface was launched to such rave reviews, but as it turns out we were wrong. What interests developers most about Windows 8 tablets is actually the shared development capabilities between desktop and tablet promised by Microsoft with the launch of Windows 8." (I would part company with King on the claim of "rave reviews.")

The developer reaction to Windows 8 tablets is indicative of a problem that Microsoft is just beginning to grapple with: Developers gravitate to platforms with a big market share. And unlike the desktop, Microsoft's share of the mobile world is very small. As King points out, there's not a lot of room for missteps once Windows 8 and Surface are in the tablet marketplace and Windows Phone 8 is in the smartphone marketplace.

RIM to developers: Please love us
As you'd expect, RIM's BlackBerry platform remains in trouble with developers. Developers saying they are "very interested" in building apps for the OS fell to an all-time low of 9 percent for smartphones and 8 percent for tablets.

"This decline in RIM interest is dramatic considering that almost 40 percent of mobile developers were very interested in developing for the platform in the January 2011 survey -- again emphasizing the speed at which the mobile market is evolving. This highlights the fact that RIM has to deliver both a compelling experience and massive developer engagement with BlackBerry 10 to stand a chance with mobile developers and to return to relevance," King says.

The survey is not good news for troubled RIM, which is betting heavily on HTML5 in the next release of the BlackBerry OS. The company is hardly unaware of developers' issues with HTML5 and their reluctance to hitch their wagons to a fading star.

As an inducement to write for its platform, RIM is guaranteeing $10,000 in revenue to companies writing for BlackBerry 10. To qualify, the developer must first show $1,000 in sales.

Alec Saunders, RIM's head of developer relations, says that BlackBerry applications are the least expensive to develop, averaging just over $15,000, while iOS applications cost 81 percent more to develop than BlackBerry applications. (He attributed the cost figures to Vision Mobile.) RIM, says Saunders, has increased the number of apps approved for sale on App World by 130 percent. Among enterprise-grade developers, about 10 percent earn more than $10,000 per month.

We'll see if that turns any attention away from iOS.

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This article, "Developers: Up with iOS, down with HTML5," was originally published by Read more of Bill Snyder's Tech's Bottom Line blog and follow the latest technology business developments at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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