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Developers Believe Mobile Startup Could Disrupt Facebook

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, September 28, 2012
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Bangalore:  Appcelerator, the leading mobile platform company, and industry-leading analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC), today announced results of a joint survey of more than 5,500 Appcelerator developers - the world's largest mobile developer survey conducted to date. Findings reveal that a majority of developers believe a mobile-first social startup may disrupt Facebook. The report also states that developers predict they will be building mobile apps for form factors such as televisions, connected cars, game consoles, Google Glass, and foldable screens by 2015. Apple continues to reign as the platform of choice, while Android development remains in decline, and interest in developing for RIM sinks to an all-time low.

"The most revealing news is that developers see potential for a disruption of Facebook by a mobile-first social startup," said Bob O'Donnell, VP of Clients, Displays, and Mobile Devices at IDC. "Mobile has the power to reshape entire industries quickly. Staying competitive isn't simply a matter of porting elements of an existing business model to mobile; rather, it requires re-envisioning traditional business models through a mobile lens."

Mobile-First Startup Could Break Facebook's Social Dominance
A resounding 66 percent of mobile developers state it is "likely to very likely" that a mobile-first social startup will disrupt the market for social applications on mobile devices and take market share from Facebook. Mobile provides enterprises with the ability to transform their relationships and uncover new competitive advantages. Mobile's transformative power provides a tremendous opportunity for enterprises to re-imagine their business from a mobile-first view, but it also has the potential to leave a wake of casualties among companies that underestimate the speed of its disruption.

2015 Mobile Prediction: More than Smartphones and Tablets
By 2015, developers predict it is "likely to very likely" they will be building mobile apps for more than smartphones and tablets. Televisions, connected cars, game consoles, Google Glass, and foldable screens all ranked high on the list of future form factors. However, despite the entry of a variety of additional form factors, developers still believe they will build the majority of apps for smartphones and tablets in 2015, and 63 percent believe they will be developing apps for both, emphasizing the need for a single development environment in which to create apps for as many form factors as possible.

Developers Not Satisfied with HTML5 Mobile Applications
Developers rank their satisfaction with nearly every feature of HTML5 as neutral to dissatisfied, including user experience, performance, monetization, fragmentation, distribution control, timeliness of new updates, and security. Developers report the highest satisfaction with the cross-development capabilities of HTML5 and timelines of updates.

Apple Dominates, Sands Shifting for Android
Apple maintains its dominance at the top of developers' lists for mobile app development, with 85 percent of developers very interested in building apps for iOS smartphones and 83 percent similarly focused on iPad apps. Interest in developing for Android declined slightly since last quarter's survey. Android has fewer than 66 percent of developers very interested in developing for that tablet platform, and 76 percent very interested in the smartphone platform.

Developers Excited for New iOS and iPhone
Developers are excited about the opportunity that Apple Maps provides them for their mobile applications, with over 36 percent stating it is the feature they are most looking forward to using. They are also intrigued by enhanced Siri, with over 21 percent listing it as the feature they are most looking forward to using. Passbook also garners significant interest, with 15 percent of developers citing that capability as most interesting. Developers were also asked what feature sets they are most interested in seeing as Apple introduces the next version of the iPhone. Over half (51 percent) want to see a faster processor; 39 percent want to see LTE connectivity; and 43 percent want to see a larger screen. The trend towards fast, high-performance applications is noted throughout the survey.

Developers Riding High on the Cloud
Developers remain excited about Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) and Mobile Platform as a Service (MPaaS), with over two-thirds interested in mobile cloud storage. However, the use cases envisioned for those cloud services, particularly storage, vary widely. 50 percent of those interested cite applications and data that can move across different devices as the primary use case; 34 percent of those interested cite secure access to information from anywhere at any time; and 32 percent of those interested are not sure of the use cases.

RIM Remains Rocky
Mobile developers "very interested" in building apps on the Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry OS fell to an all-time low of nine percent from almost 40 percent in the Appcelerator/IDC January 2011 survey.

Market Landscape and Upcoming Trends
The results of the Q3 2012 survey show ongoing preference for Apple and iOS, with the addition of mild optimism toward Windows 8. Developers are most attracted to Microsoft's promise of shared development capabilities between the desktop and tablet, reflecting the ongoing challenges involved in cross-platform development. If Window 8 proves successful, developers feel it may adversely affect RIM and Android, which could prove disastrous since interest in both operating systems has continued to decline each quarter.


The Mobile Digest is a weekly summary of News, Trends, Reviews, Profiles and Articles from the Mobile Space.
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