Devs: Android Catching up to iPad
In a manner similar to its growth in the smartphone arena, Google's mobile OS, Android, is gaining ground quickly on Apple's iOS, which powers the iPhone and iPad devices.
Appcelerator, a mobile platform and services company, along with analyst firm IDC, found that 74 percent of developers in its most recent survey were "very interested" in developing for the Android tablet. That's a 12-point spike since Sept. 2010, four times the three-point gain made by iPad, which increased from 84 percent to 87 percent in the same period. So although iPad still maintains a lead, developers are quickly jumping on board the Android tablet ship.
The jump is reminiscent of the huge advances in popularity Android-powered smartphones have experienced over the past year. In fact, the latest data from Internet measurement company comScore, from last November, shows that Android smartphones have eclipsed the iPhone in popularity, moving ahead by a point.
Apple may have taken a large step toward reversing that trend with its recent announcement that it was opening up its vendor pool to include Verizon Wireless, the largest carrier in the U.S., next month. Many analysts have said that Apple's exclusive deal with AT&T has suppressed phone sales since the release of the first iPhone.
Whether or not that happens, Apple has to be concerned about the eerily familiar path the Android tablet is taking in terms of competing with its industry-leading product -- in this case, tablet computers.
There's also good news in the survey for RIM, which makes the BlackBerry smartphone and Playbook tablet. Although BlackBerry is a distant third in developer interest, it nearly doubled its previous figure, going from 16 percent to 28 percent.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.