Vision Mobile has posted a result of their bi-annual survey of mobile developers.
They revealed, despite the low market share of Windows Phone, that the OS continued to attract interest from developers, with 28% of developers creating for the platform, up from 21% a year ago. Microsoft has said 500 new apps are being added each day to the Windows Phone Store.
10% of developers were also dedicated to using Microsoft tools like C# to develop mobile apps, while 32% prioritized Objective C and 42% Android’s Java.
Vision Mobile notes Microsoft developers were the most loyal, saying:
Windows Phone developers have the highest levels of investment in their platform with 63% developing apps in the native language, C#.
There are likely multiple reasons for this; first it is hard to develop most types of app cross-platform and target Windows Phone because the UI is very different from the other platforms; second, crossplatform games built using Unity (the most popular tool) are also likely to be using C#; third, Microsoft’s changes to what can can’t be used to develop for the platform between WP7 and WP8 make it very difficult to target both versions (and thus the entire installed base) in many other ways.
Microsoft has far greater developer mindshare in its tooling than its platform. There are almost as many developers using C# with iOS or Android as their primary platform via Unity and Xamarin as there are building native apps for Windows Phone. In the case of Xamarin,
developers have to learn the native UI framework on their target platform as the tool provides a thin wrapper around the APIs. This still involves significant investment in the platform, whilst sticking with a preferred language. There are about twice as many C# developers primarily targeting iOS versus Android, suggesting that many of them may be using a cross-platform tool to target just the one platform. This data suggests that Microsoft should accelerate their recent moves to embrace the other platforms with their tools as well products. In the same way that Satya Nadella’s new strategy has Microsoft’s products embrace other platforms, they can enable
existing C# developers to keep using their technology without missing out on the obvious scale advantages of the other platforms.
26% of developers targeted enterprise apps on Windows Phone, a new more lucrative area of mobile development, vs consumer apps, which have largely been commoditized.
On enterprise-targeted apps 57% of enterprise app developers earning at least $500 per month, compared to just 26% for consumer apps.
“Today, app stores are so completely jam packed with consumer apps that an overwhelming majority of them struggle to get noticed or make any significant revenue,” the report states.
The full report can be downloaded at DeveloperEconomics.com here.