Because we just don’t have enough “year of” lingo flying about the mobile world, telecom market analysts at Ovum seem ready to declare 2012 the “year of Android.” In a new survey of developers, the company claims that “Android looks set to replace Apple’s iOS in terms of importance to developers within the next 12 months.” Most developers now say they are crafting strategies around both platforms.
Anecdotally, it is clear from speaking with both developers and content providers that Amazon’s Kindle Fire caught their attention. Several publishers have mentioned to me that their intent is to grab first-mover advantage in a Fire store that is still nascent. That said, I also continue to hear grumbling among developers about fragmentation. While the Fire seems to give many of them a fatter target, the smartphone terrain remains daunting.
No wonder that Ovum found in its survey that developers were moving away from previous cross-platform standards such as Java, Flash and WAP to HTML5 especially.
Also ascendant this year may be Windows Phone. Ovum seems to think that Microsoft has gotten at least some developers to believe that the struggling platform has a genuine shot at a market that appears to be congealing around two major OSes.
In some measure the cross-platform development strategies and HTML5 focus could be an incidental help to Windows Phone. If apps become reliably available on both iOS and Android in similar form, then consumers may also begin to perceive apps more like Web sites.