Developer Loyalty Index: Windows Phone, Kindle Fire More Appealing Than BlackBerry

by Gaurav Kheterpal on November 15, 2011

Earlier this week, Research In Motion (RIM) announced that its betting big on the mobile app developer community in India. The company says it sees ‘huge opportunity in mobile application development’ in India and it also plans to train engineering students to help them develop applications.

While that announcement from RIM oozes confidence, it doesn’t hide RIM’s fast fading fortune in the developer community. In September, Mike Kirkup, Research In Motion’s senior director of global developer relations – a very popular man among the BlackBerry developer fraternity and a familiar face at RIM’s mobile development workshops and conferences, announced that he’s leaving the company.

Several popular apps including Seesmic and Gmail have already shut shop on BlackBerry this year and it might get worse. These findings are supported by the recently concluded joint Appcelerator/IDC survey which indicates that Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform has passed RIM’s BlackBerry for a podium finish among app developers.

The survey also indicates that developers are hot for Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which ranks as the most popular Android tablet in North America, and second only to the Samsung Galaxy Tab globally.

Though Android and iOS still rule the roost among developers, Windows Phone development is gaining momentum thanks to Microsoft’s aggressive efforts to woo estranged developers. Though questions continue to be asked on the future of Nokia-Microsoft partnership, the survey suggests that Microsoft is enjoying symbiotic success with Nokia. In fact, a large number of developers are pursuing WP7 simply because Nokia is involved. The recently launched Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 7 smartphone is already a hit among developers with 28 percent saying they are ‘very interested’ in developing for the device.

To sum it up, developer interest in WP7 is “Highest ever for Microsoft”. However, most developers are still in a mood to see how well new Windows phone handsets sell before taking coding time away from iOS and Android, thereby leaving Microsoft in a classic chicken and egg problem.

Survey respondents said that Amazon’s strong content ecosystem, appstore and eCommerce integration, as well as the low price of the device, are major incentives to develop apps for the Kindle Fire. This is despite major drawbacks such as lack of a camera and geolocation, as well as fragmentation of the Android platform. However, I believe that developer interest in Kindle Fire may be short-lived.

As my fellow blogger Matt Klassen pointed out – the whole Kindle Fire plan is full of risk.  Amazon’s “spend now, profit later” plan for the Kindle Fire involves selling the tablet at a bargain basement price, meaning profit margins on each device are razor thin, with hopes of recouping its investment later on through content purchases. Further, there are competitors such as B&N sniffing down Amazon’s neck.

As for RIM, the survey reaffirms bleak prospects of the BlackBerry developer community.  Developers saying they were very interested in developing for BlackBerry phones dropped 7-percent to 21-percent, while PlayBook developer interest dropped 6-percent to 13-percent.

Did you like this post? publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

{ 1 trackback }

Microsoft Shows More Developer Love, Overhauls Windows Phone Dev Center —
August 21, 2012 at 6:09 am

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: