Though Google may have beaten Apple in respect of sales in the smartphone market, Apple continues to enjoy the loyalty of app developers for their mobile devices, with developers working on applications solely meant for the iPhone before they port the same for Android. App developers continue to make more money by designing apps for Apple than for Android, and rivals RIM and Microsoft are finding it difficult to get developers to invest in their platforms.
Apple has also unveiled a number of upgrades to its existing services in the latest version of its mobile platform, iOS 6, at the recently concluded WWDC conference. The main highlight of this conference was the introduction of Apple’s own 3D mapping service and a number of upgrades to the company’s flagship iPhone feature – Siri.
Both Google and Apple are steadily competing with one another in the market and most of the competition is centered on the apps offered by both the companies to their consumers. Android is available to any manufacturer who wants to build a phone and with the support of Samsung and other wireless carriers, Android has overshadowed the iPhone in the smartphone market. Six months ago, Eric Schmidt, the Chairman of Google, expressed hope that developers would start favoring Android over the iPhone soon. Six months have passed and even though Android offers app developers a larger audience to cater to, Apple continues to have considerable sway over developers.
According to developers, it is easier and less expensive to develop apps for the iPhone than for Android, as in the case of Android they are required to take into consideration a large number of phone models with problems of differences in screen size and such, consuming more time and effort for development. Besides, users of the iPhone are more likely to pay for apps and update to latest versions than users of Android, as per a number of market studies.
Fortunately for Apple, they have managed to maintain their dominant position in the tablet market, with the iPad winning over Android-run tablets. Since the iPhone and the iPad both run on iOS, it becomes easier for the developers to accordingly adapt their software and fetch a larger audience. However, Google, with 500,000 apps, is working on catching up with the number of apps offered by Apple, which stands at 600,000. Unfortunately, Android is handicapped by the existence of two platforms – one for smartphones and the other (Honeycomb) for tablets. Most developers aren’t very interested in developing for the small installed base of Honeycomb tablets. Google expects this to change with Ice Cream Sandwich which will run on tablets as well.