The introductions of the Verizon iPhone and the iPad 2 have stalled Android's development growth, according to new data from Flurry Analytics research firm. Android development grew steadily in 2010, but the platform's share of new project starts has fallen in the first two quarters of this year.
More than half (57 percent) of new projects in the second quarter of this year were developed for the iPhone/iPod Touch, up from 54 percent in the first quarter. In the same time, the development for the iPad was up to 15 percent (from 10 percent in the first quarter), while Android app development was down to 28 percent (from 36 percent in the first quarter).
Flurry offers an SDK that allows developers to add analytics to their applications. Flurry used data gleaned from new project starts adding the code to their apps.
Researcher Charles Newark-French says he believes the focus-shift back to iOS development probably has a lot to do with the launch of the iPhone on Verizon, as well as the successful debut of the iPad 2.
"Ongoing work to improve the Android Market layout and to push forward the adoption of Google Checkout are critical to its success," Newark-French wrote in a blog post. "The development community is concerned about the rising cost of deploying across the Android installed base, due to the double whammy of OS and storefront fragmentation."
Indeed, the fragmentation issue is something that has haunted Android since its inception. While I wouldn't consider the app store issue that big of a problem, dealing with the many shapes and sizes Android devices come in these days is. Despite the criticism of Apple's single-device strategy, having only a few devices that run a unified version of iOS does help out the developer.
Development is much easier because your design considerations only need to take into account the differences between a handful of devices--not multiple devices running multiple versions of Android. There's just no way you can test and ensure compatibility among all those devices until your app is in the wild.