This just in: Android had a phenomenal quarter, Nokia’s market share is down 11% year-over-year and Apple and RIM are pretty much holding steady/slightly down.
So the questions come like they do each quarter: when are you going to stop being stupid and develop for <platform X>, which this quarter is Android?
The problem is, from a developer perspective, market share doesn’t equal sales.
Sure, number of devices sold plays a part in the decision but it isn’t the only one and, frankly, not even at the top of the list. So a customer wrote and asked when we were going to develop for Android. This is what I told him:
Thanks for asking. There are a number of factors [regarding us developing for Android], to be honest. One major one is that we are just a small company and developing the skill set for multiple platforms is hard. Once we figure out how to make money in the iOS world than it will be more feasible to look at other platforms.
That is a business decision. The technical issue that concerns me the most is Android’s fracturing. We dealt with this in the Palm world as the OS got licensed to 7-10 hardware manufacturers who all changed the underlying code. Android is even worse. There are over 150 devices and no one device remains popular for more then 4-6 months. On top of that all the major licensees are writing their own UI front ends or completely customizing the OS.
For us it is the calculator specifically that is a problem. It just doesn’t resize at all and has to be customized — rewritten — for every hardware change.
This doesn’t change my opinion of Android. I think it will do very well in the market and people will buy lots of Android devices, whether they are actually Android devices with Google’s direction or some offshoot of that. Hardware guys will love it because it is free (without Google’s apps) and they can put their own UI stamp on the device, especially with Microsoft setting the specific standard for Windows Phone 7. But I think it is going to be very difficult for developers in that market. So far, with 160,000 devices sold daily, there are no stories of developer success at all.
This doesn’t mean we won’t ever write for Android. It just means Infinity Softworks sits on the sidelines and watches, at least for a while longer.