The iPhone 3G S, 4, and 4S have the same resolution for the UI, but the iPhone 4 and 4S have double-density pixels requiring higher-res graphics. The iPhone 5 has a unique resolution, with the same width but greater depth as previous iPhones. The iPads all have the same resolution for the UI, but the third- and fourth-gen iPads also sport Retina displays, thus needing optimized images. Although the iPad Mini's resolution is the same as the other iPad models, its smaller physical size means many apps' UIs can be too scrunched on its screen and could benefit from resizing. All of that adds effort to iOS app development.
While fragmentation has long been associated with Android, with its multiple operating system variants and vendor customizations, the Apple developer community is now also dealing with it, according to Appcelerator. That could create an opening for a new platform, such as Microsoft's Windows RT or Research in Motion's BlackBerry 10. "There might be an entry for other ecosystems to offer developers an opportunity," McInerney said.
Developers, meanwhile, are pleased with Google Nexus tablets, with 53% saying they are very interested in developing for them. The Nexus line is also a step in the right direction toward fixing Android's issues with fragmentation and inconsistent device performance, the Appcelerator survey found.
Microsoft's newly released Windows RT-based Surface tablet, meanwhile, still needs a lot of work to become a successful mobile platform, with just 20% of developers impressed with the hardware and believing it will boost Microsoft's mobile ambitions. Forty-five percent of developers are unimpressed with the hardware and do not believe it offers much advantage over tablets already on the market, and only 35% are very interested in building for the platform.
Appcelerator found that the Amazon Kindle tablet was having trouble getting traction, with just 21% of developers very interested in building applications for it. "It's just not getting the critical mass," McInerney said.