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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : April 27, 2011

Consumers desire Android OS, developers not so much

A new Nielsen survey puts Android ahead of iPhone in desirability, a shift in Android's favour since Nielsen's last survey conducted approximately six months ago. However, another survey shows the same enthusiasm for Android isn't shared by app developers.

by Helen Leggatt

The latest survey, conducted during the first three months of 2011, found that almost a third (31%) of U.S. mobile consumers plan to buy an Android device as their next smartphone.

But Apple is snapping at Android's heels - 30% of people desire Apple's iOS. One in five remains unsure of what operating system they want.

Nielsen's previous survey, conducted between July and September 2010, found operating system loyalties to be a little different - back then a third (33%) wanted Apple's iOS and a little over a quarter (26%) Android.

More telling, perhaps, is what actually happened with smartphone sales over the last six months. Half of respondents to Nielsen's survey who had purchased a smartphone in the last six months had purchased an Android device and 25% purchased an iPhone.

But what do mobile app developers prefer? According to a survey of more than 2,700 developers conducted recently by Appcelerator and IDC, interest in Android app development is waning.

Why the growing disinterest? Fragmentation of devices and subpar tablet sales.

"The key to their frustration is the number and inconsistent variety of devices running Android," explains ITWorld's Kevin Fogarty, "which makes it difficult for software developers to build a single app that works well on all of them."

Tags: Android, Apple, mobile app, mobile device, mobile operating system, smartphone market

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