What Mobile Platform? Consider the Market

distmo.gifPeople often ask me what mobile platforms they should support. My Mobile Development Primer lists the main considerations…

  • Geography – Some platforms are more popular in some countries than others
  • Capability – Some platforms can’t do some things
  • Demographics – e.g. Some platforms are used more by enterprise than consumers
  • Your Capability – What can you program and have a passion for?
  • Market – Some platforms have better routes to market
  • Timing – Some platforms are more for the future than for now, some are for now, others are reinventing themselves

In terms of the market, it’s best to look at the reports such as Distimo’s latest Report for July 2010.

Distimo lists the highest ranked paid applications across the major app stores. For some reason, different genres of application are popular on different platforms. Here’s what I concluded…

  • Productivity, News, Lifestyle, Business -> Develop for iPad
  • Games -> Develop for iPhone or Ovi Store
  • Themes -> Develop for BlackBerry
  • Tools, Multimedia -> Develop for Android

However, the data might also be viewed in a contrarian manner. You could say that there are already too many apps (and competition) with these genres on the respective platforms and there might be opportunities in not doing what everyone else is doing.

The big question is why these types of app have become successful on the various platforms. For example, it might be because the platform best suits the genre (I expect this is so on the iPad) or that the type of person who buys that platform buys that type of app (this may be so for Android at the moment) or that certain types of developers have been especially attracted to top grossing platforms (e.g Electronic Arts Games on iPhone).