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Survey: iPhone Edges Out Android in Developer Interest

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Today, MSNBC's Wilson Rothman reported what developers have been thinking for about a year now: In the smartphone race, there really are only two competitors -- Apple and Google. Both command the highest number of third party developers, who produce apps by the hundreds of thousands for iPhone and Android devices. But despite the tremendous growth Android has seen in the last year and a half, Apple still edges out Android in developer interest.

Underscoring this fact, Appcelerator conducted a survey of roughly 2,000 cross-platform developers, asking them their level of interest in the top OS platforms. Of those who said they were "very interested" in a particular platform, 92% chose the iPhone and 87% chose Android phones. Coincidentally, 87% chose the iPad, but 74% chose Android tablets.

As for the others, Rothman writes, "No matter how much enthusiasm HP and Microsoft can drum up, their product lines are years behind the competition, and they currently sit on extremely minuscule market shares." Research in Motion is bleeding both customers and developer interest, and Nokia's grasping at straws.

Overall, this is how the platforms ranked:

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As you can see, Android tablets can hold their own but still need to solidify themselves as a viable alternative to the wildly popular iPad. After that, it's precipitous fall to BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 -- which generate a little over a third of developers' interest. HP fares poorer, Kindle shows that it never took off as an app-centric device, and Nokia better start praying its partnership with Microsoft turns it all around.

Rothman intimates that what we have now is the 21st century's answer to the Mac vs. PC war. And while that battle still rages on, the smartphone race is arguably much bloodier.
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