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Mobile Application Development Ecosystem Determines Platform Success

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By Author: Turtlejet Inc
Total Articles: 7
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The mobile era began when the mobile industry discovered its potential of entering the mainstream. The industry owners realized that smart phones are more than expensive toys for entrepreneurs and geeks. The industry grew swiftly surpassing 29 percent global penetration in the first quarter of 2011. However, the penetration widely differs from nearly 65 percent in the US, 19 percent in Asia Pacific and 50 percent in Europe.
The strength of mobile application developmentecosystem drives the mobile industry today.
Although technological sophistication plays an important role, the application ecosystem, which comprises of application vendors, developers and consumers, generates revenue. Apple and Google exemplify the success through application platforms that seamlessly bring together the developers and content providers.

We can measure the success of the platform via its scalability. The platform must grow exponentially with the growth in the number of users. The ability to hold a number of quality applications and a wide spectrum of applications ranging from business apps to the apps used for killing time determines the platform’s endurance. The platform’s success is directly measured by the applications developed for it; for example, Apple holds the largest no. of applications, 500,000, and attains the most successful position in the mobile market. Second is Android with 300,000 applications.

When a developer starts a mobile application development for a platform, he needs to invest some amount of money. Therefore, a developer’s perception of a platform, build through careful study, is very important. Platform owners spend millions and billions to attract developers through advertisements, special developer’s blogs, advanced SDKs and so on; because, on an average a developer needs to invest $32,000 when developing for Apple platform. Similar is the case for Android; which means, developers are the success makers and breakers. The long term sustainability of a platform is determined on the basis of whether a developer’s investment in a platform grows, stagnates or declines.

In the first quarter of 2011, we saw many old and new mobile platforms seeking the top position. However, only Apple understood the significance of application ecosystem and began iPhone application development in full force. Nokia steadily lost ground in the high-end smart phone market and created a vacuum, which was soon filled up by Google that brought Android application development in picture. RIM sustained till third quarter due to its enterprise support. Many consumers experienced inconvenience to part with RIM’s security and push email services. However,blackberry application development lost consumer market soon after Apple enforced security competent with Blackberry proving its potential for enterprise users.

All in all, mobile app developers remain a key to the success of the mobile industry. As more utility apps make way to smart phones, platforms receive better clinch on consumer market.

Today, iPhone and Android are the only two horses in the smart phone race and the winner of the race will be the platform that offers faster time-to-market and better utility applications. It also depends on what kind of incentives do the developers receive. No two developers are alike, meaning that the developer ecosystem is a varied landscape comprising of enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, independent software vendors and so on. Therefore, the widely varied incentives for different developers form a cornerstone of any platform’s strategy to attract mobile app developers, thereby deciding its success or failure.

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