Tablet Onslaught Reprioritizes Development Efforts As Businesses Accelerate Mobile App Strategies

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New Appcelerator-IDC Report Reflects Market Focus on “Location, Social, and Cloud-Connected Mobility” with Plans to Triple App Production Across Multiple Platforms

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. and FRAMINGHAM, MASS. – January 25, 2011 – Appcelerator®, the leading platform for rapidly developing native mobile, desktop, and tablet applications using web technologies, and industry-leading analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC), today announced results from a joint Appcelerator-IDC survey of more than 2,200 app developers around the world. The survey reveals how new entrants to the tablet market are changing application development priorities and how businesses large and small are accelerating their efforts to build a mobile application strategy to deal with an explosion in apps, mobile devices, operating systems, and capabilities.

Taken January 10-12, the Appcelerator-IDC Q1 2011 Mobile Developer Report and survey shows that Google has nearly caught up to Apple in smart phone popularity and is closing the gap in tablets. Microsoft and RIM made solid gains through their product line update, while interest in Google TV and Apple TV dropped off. As these trends unfold, it is also becoming clear that the days of mobile app experimentation are over. This year, developers and businesses expect to triple their app development and the average developer is now building for four different devices. Meanwhile, a dramatic increase in the integration of geo-location, social, and cloud-connectivity services underscores new focus on sustaining user engagement, while increased plans to integrate advertising and in-app purchase business models points to a new focus on longer-term financial viability over free brand affinity apps.

New Android Tablets to Challenge iPad 2 for Developer Mindshare

With 85 new, primarily Android tablets announced at CES, developers are pushing these devices to the top of their priority list. Highlights from this survey include:

  • Tablet interest spikes across the board: Android Tablet interest jumped 12 points in three months to 74% of respondents saying they are ‘very interested’ in developing for these devices. Interest in BlackBerry Playbook nearly doubled from 16% to 28%. iPad rose three points to 87%, while webOS Tablet interest remained flat at 16%.
  • With the Android Tablet market set to explode this year, 57% of developers say price will be the most important factor for success, followed by minimized fragmentation (49%) and then Android Honeycomb OS capabilities (33%).
  • For Apple, topping the iPad 2 wish list were: new camera capabilities, a USB connector, and an improved retina display.
  • Android phone interest (87% ‘very interested’) rose 5 points to tie iPad and close to within 5 points of iPhone (92%). Yet Apple continues to be the number one priority with over 10 billion app sales to date. A common refrain from developer is: “after iPhone, do I go Android or iPad?”
  • While Tablets are hot; Connected TVs are not. Interest in building mobile apps for connected TVs decreased across the board as Google dialed down its launch plans, TV networks blocked access to their content and developers increasingly focused on tablets. Google TV interest slumped 11 points to 33% while Apple iTV dropped 10 points to 30%. Developer interest in other alternatives like Yahoo TV, Boxee, and Roku was also minimal.
  • Windows Phone 7 rose 8 points to 36% of developers indicating they are ‘very interested’ due to a better-than-expected launch. Respondents said that Windows Phone’s improved UI was a critical factor for the increase. Amazon’s newly announced Android Appstore shows early promise. While 82% of developers are interested in distributing their apps through the Android Market, 37% are interested in the Amazon Appstore, 13% for Verizon VCAST, and 9% for GetJar.
  • Interestingly, developers are about equally as interested in the Mac App Store (39%) as they are in Amazon’s new Android Appstore. 2011: The Race to Build a Mobile App Strategy

The proliferation of apps, devices, platforms, and capabilities has triggered a race among businesses large and small to define a sustainable mobile strategy. This quarter, Appcelerator and IDC introduce a new “Mobile Maturity Model” to identify three phases of mobility adoption shaping up in the enterprise and consumer markets: ‘exploration’, ‘acceleration’, and ‘innovation’.

Last year, most respondents (43%) said they were in the ‘exploring’ phase of their mobile strategy. A simple app or two – typically on iPhone – and a focus on free or $0.99 branded apps was standard practice. This year, 55% of respondents said they are now shifting into the ‘acceleration’ phase. This phase is defined by the following trends and mobile strategies:

  • On average, each respondent said they plan to develop 6.5 apps this year, up 183% over last year.
  • Businesses are increasingly taking a multi-platform approach. On average, respondents said they plan to deploy apps on at least 4 different devices (eg: iPhone, iPad, Android Phone, Android Tablet) this year, up two-fold over 2010.
  • Ubiquitous cloud-connectivity: 87% of developers said their apps will connect to the cloud this year, up from 64% last year.
  • Always connected, personal, and contextual: in addition to cloud services, integration of social and location services will explode in 2011 and will define the majority of mobile experiences this year.
  • Interest in commerce apps is also on the rise, with PayPal beating Apple and Google as the more preferred method for payments.
  • Business models are evolving to stay in lockstep with these more engaging mobile app experiences. Developers are shifting away from free brand affinity apps and becoming less reliant on $0.99 app sales. Increasingly, the focus is on user engagement models such as in-app purchasing and advertising, with mobile commerce on the horizon.
  • Outsource goes in-house: the enterprise takes control of its mobile destiny. 81% of respondents said they insource their development, with the majority saying they have an integrated in-house web and mobile team.

4 Mobile Strategy Considerations for Business
These trends are summarized into four perspectives that any business can consider when building a mobile strategy: platform support, customer experience, development skills, and technology architecture. Understanding these perspectives will enable a business to maximize the opportunity that mobile offers while minimizing the challenge of proliferation and increasing complexity from the devices, capabilities, and operating systems that are analyzed in this report.

A complete breakdown of these trends and a full analysis of how businesses are building a mobile strategy are available online here.

About Appcelerator
Appcelerator is the leading enterprise-grade, cross-platform development solution on the market today, with over 1.5 million developers using its software to power more than 10,000 cloud-connected mobile, desktop, and web applications used by tens of millions of users every day. The company’s flagship offering, Appcelerator Titanium, is the only open source platform to enable fully native, cross-platform development, from a single codebase, at web development speed for these three platforms. Appcelerator’s customers can leverage their existing skills and open, industry standard technologies to decrease time-to-market and development costs, increase customer adoption and revenues, and enjoy greater flexibility and control. For more information, please visit www.appcelerator.com.

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 46 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

Appcelerator is a registered trademark of Appcelerator Inc. Appcelerator Titanium is a trademark of Appcelerator Inc.

International Data Corporation and IDC are registered trademarks of International Data Group, Inc. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

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