Nov, 23 2009

On Friday we shared with you a story about Gameloft, a mobile game creator that expressed their frustration with Android in the face of iPhone success. The company says they are pulling their time, money and other resources AWAY from Android and towards the iPhone and other platforms and suggest that other software developers are doing the same thing. That doesn’t sound too good for the future of Android.

dev-uturnBut every coin has two sides, and if you flip Gameloft over you’ve got Whitepages, a company saying the exact opposite:

“Mobile games publisher Gameloft might have thrown in the towel on Android, but that is a mistake. I certainly understand why they gave up on Android. Since launching in February of this year, our own Whitepages Caller ID app has become a top ten grossing Android application, and yet we’ve seen less than $54,000 in revenue. While our iPhone app download counts are in the millions, our Android app downloads are a mere 17 percent of this volume.”

Kevin Nakao, VP of Mobile for White Pages, made a guest post on TechCrunch explaining why developers would be smart to jump into the Android development world right now. The mistake Gameloft is making, Nakao argues, is in seeing the potential and he provides 5 reasons:

  • Continual improvements in Android Market and the ability for consumers to buy applications elsewhere fuel waves of renewed consumer interest
  • Easier billing through carriers is coming
  • Apps running in the background will be KEY to location based advertising
  • Momentum is just beginning, Android adoption about to boom
  • Leverage Android – in addition to a better app review system, Android has many core functionalities that are blocked on the iPhone and other platforms. Take advantage of your resources and build an innovative app rather than a simple port.

I totally agree and think there is a 2 part issue:

  1. Android only has about 22% of the market share that iPhone does and Whitepages is experiencing only 17% of the volume in sales. To be honest, keeping relative size in mind, the number of sales Whitepages does on Android isn’t that bad. As Android moves from 3.9% market share to MUCH higher in 2010 and beyond, the volume will reach and surpass Apple who currently has 17.1% market share. [Source]
  2. Why does Apple sell more apps per/user than Android? Probably ease of use with the App Store compared to the Android Market. This is a problem that, while not necessarily EASILY overcome, I can almost guarantee that Google is working on.

Long story short: Android adoption is about to boom while Google simultaneously improves the market experience. This will all occur in 2010 and developers with a vision will be incredibly ahead of the game by 2011, when Android vs iPhone race gets ridiculously close in terms of Market Share.