Portland-based mobile services platform Urban Airship recently released the results of its year-end survey, which asked hundreds of developers about their current efforts and future plans, in order to measure trends in the mobile application development space.
According to the developers’ answers, there were some surprising findings. For example, iOS development is expected to drop slightly in to 2011, from 99.5% to 90%, while Android increases from 44% to 74%. Another interesting stat regarding in-app purchases showed a huge jump in developer usage – from 8% in 2010 to 31% in 2011.
The survey involved 318 mobile application developers, only half of whom use Urban Airship’s mobile platform. Not surprisingly, out of 219 responses, there was a clear developer preference for both the iOS (99.5%) and Android (43.8%) platforms this year. BlackBerry (11.0%), meanwhile, was a distant third.
But when looking at the developers’ 2011 plans, things began to change. Out of 221 responses, 90% said they would be developing for iOS, 73.8% said Android, and both BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 saw major increases, at 22.2% and 24.4%, respectively.
App Revenue Sources
Another change from 2010 to 2011 is the shift in app revenue sources. In 2010, the majority of revenue (47%) came from downloads of paid apps. The rest of the revenue was generated by ads (11%), in-app purchases (8%) and upgrades (0.3%). 33.3% of developers surveyed reported they did not monetize their app.
However, in 2011, the revenue generated by downloads will decrease, although it will still be largest source at 38%. Other methods including ads (17%), in-app purchases (31%) and upgrades (2%) will increase. Only 13% of developers reported they would not monetize their apps.
Downloads are also used as a measure of an app’s success, according to 64% of developers. Others measure success by app usage (60%), revenue earned (44%), app store ranking (34%) and the un-install rate (4%).
Other data in the report looks at Urban Airship’s platform specifically, asking developers if they used push notifications now, and what they wanted to see the company offer in 2011.