Develop for Apple, Android or Windows? There's room for everyone at the table

By Andrew Till, senior vice president, Mobile & Connected Devices Division, Symphony Teleca, Network World |  Mobile & Wireless, Android, IOS

1. Leaders: Currently Apple iOS and Android 2. Aspiring Challengers: BB10, Tizen and Windows Phone 8 3. Fading Glory: Symbian, RTOS+Java

Product quality and excellence in go-to-market execution will be the differentiating factors which will decide market position. The market for Android and Apple devices is huge and continues to grow as new apps, features and functionality keep both players running neck and neck for market share. Emerging challengers (or resurrecting companies) like Microsoft with its new Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will start chipping away at share.

While there's much talk about the preferred platform, the truth is that developers go where the money is first and foremost. In addition, the efforts platform providers take to foster the developer community, such as ease of use and flexibility, plays an important role. Apple/iOS had an early lead but Android is the new No. 1 in terms of handset sales and deployed volumes. The ability to cover basically all phone tiers -- from low-cost smartphones to high-tier flagship devices -- helps manifest the leadership position despite all the legal disputes currently continuing.

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However, from a developer's point of view, maximizing the reach of consumer and enterprise applications is far more complex on Android given the fragmented devices landscape compared to Apple/iOS. Developing applications that work across most deployed Android devices requires a deep understanding of the different device types, as well as some thoughtful consideration in terms of what may be the best release to use for development. This also has hidden costs for issues such as maintenance of multiple application variants.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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