Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Apple vs. Google vying for Loyalty of App Developers

Last year Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, predicted that in six months app developers would start developing their apps first for Android phones and secondly for iPhones due to the fact that Androids are selling at almost twice the volume of iPhones. That six month mark passed last week with little change in app developer behavior; they still prefer to make apps first, or in some cases solely, for iPhones. Why is this?

Apple opened its annual developer conference this Monday in San Francisco and the event sold out within the first 90 minutes. It is the "most important event of the year" for many prominent app developers. During this event Apple "strengthen its ties to mobile developers with a series of product announcements" and "tries to stimulate the creative juices of this important constituency."

According to experts, "Apple’s continued influence among mobile app developers flies in the face of predictions that the company would steadily lose clout as Android phones flooded the market, presenting developers with a much bigger target audience." Developers claim that the iOS is an easier and less expensive platform on which to develop, but this can't be the only thing keeping them in the face of mounting Android sales. Given connection points like the annual developer conference, I would argue that the loyalty of this important set of partners is maintained by factors within the innovative and simple tech platform and Apple's organizational capability of collaboration.

But will Apple's collaboration capabilities keep the developer community's loyalty if Google continues to increase Android market share?

Wingfield, Nick. "Google Outsells, but Apple Cultivates Loyalty of App Developers." New York Times. June 10, 2012.

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