Android to Usurp Apple iOS as Most Popular Developer Platform this Year

According to Ovum, a London based research and consultancy firm, Android will overtake Apple's iOS "in terms of importance to developers," with the power shift expected to happen over the next 12 months.

The study, "Developer Insights 2011: Trends in Mobile Application Development" focuses on the recent changes within mobile platforms and the impact on the market.

One finding is that 29 percent of developers had a preference to adopt Android compared to 27 percent who have a preference for Apple's iOS; although, the author adds, most support both platforms. Android jumped from 5th place to 2nd compared to a similar survey just 12 months earlier, and the analysts see Google's OS maintaining that momentum.

Ovum's survey revealed what we all have all known for a while, that iOS and Android have "the core of developers support", however, other platforms like BlackBerry OS (?!) and Microsoft Windows Phone are increasingly attracting interest.

Adam Leach, devices & platforms practice leader at Ovum and author of the research, explains the increasing importance of Windows Phone. "The growing momentum behind Windows Phone indicates that Microsoft has managed to convince developers that its platform is worthy of investment; its challenge now is to persuade consumers."

The report also points out that the interest is continuing to build for web based standards, such as HTML5. Analysts from Ovum predict that this is the way to build cross-platform mobile applications.