While interest in building apps for Windows Phone 7 is building, Microsoft is still far behind Apple and Google’s smartphone and tablet platforms, according to a private survey done by mobile development plaform Appcelerator and research firm IDC. The two companies jointly surveyed 2,760 developers in April.
Based in Mountain View, Calif., Appcelerator helps Web developers build mobile apps, but does not support building for Windows Phone 7. The survey asks developers about their plans independent of whether they plan to use Appcelerator’s services.
Most developers who were “very interested” in building for the iPhone, representing 91 percent; 86 percent were very interested in building for the iPad; 85 percent were interested in building for Android smartphones; 71 percent were interested in building for Android tablets; and 29 percent were interested in building for Windows Phone 7.
Here is a chart that shows the findings.
One of the interesting trends was a falloff in interest in building for Android tablets, after the Consumer Electronics Show in January. “Now we’re in the shipping wave of Android tablets. That’s where things start getting experienced. Now we get the first set of reviews, they are coming up with fair to, say, mixed reviews,” said Scott Schwarzhoff, vice president of marketing for Appcelerator. “What we hear from our developer base on this is that Microsoft has a window of opportunity in exploiting the issue that Android tablets are seeing today.”
The survey asked developers what they saw as the biggest threat to Windows Phone 7, and 59 percent said the biggest threat is that Microsoft is too far behind Apple and Google. The next biggest reason was that developers have their hands full with developing for Apple and Android.
Here is a chart that shows those findings.
Developers said Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia could give it the greatest chance of competing against Apple and Google, the survey said.
Here is the chart showing those findings.
Schwarzhoff says the survey is both good and bad for Microsoft. “The good news is strategic partnerships. The good news is with Android there’s an opening on the tablet and fragmentation. There’s an opportunity to walk the middle line between not being closed like Apple and not being too chaotic like Google,” he said. He said seeing what has happened with Android tablet so far, it’s not a bad idea for Microsoft to develop its tablet strategy without rushing to market. ” It’s no longer sufficient to rapidly get to market. You have to get to market and compete on user experience but you also have to compete on price and value,” he said.