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Developers favour iOS while Android suffers from fragmentation fallout

By 2015, developers could be building applications for televisions, connected cars, game consoles, Google Glass, and foldable screens, according to the developers themselves.

An Appcelerator and IDC survey of 5,526 app creators suggests that the future of app development is reaching beyond today's smartphones and tablets.

The report also found that mobile developers believe that apps on services like Facebook could be threatened by a mobile-first start-up; Apple continues to reign as developers' platform of choice; and Android development continues to decline.

"History has proven that major technology shifts can transform customer relationships, businesses, and industries," the survey said. "We saw this happen with the advent of the Web, and mobile will be no exception."

Despite the certainty of an uptick in technological advances, the majority of developers still believe they will be working on phone and tablet apps in three years, while also branching out to devices like TVs, cars, game consoles, and foldable screens.

Meanwhile, Apple managed to maintain its dominance at the top of developers' platform wish list, with 85 per cent of creators very interested in building for iOS smartphones and another 83 per cent feeling similarly toward the iPad.

Android, on the other hand, saw a decline in developer interest, with 66 per cent interested in developing for Android tablets and 76 per cent intrigued by Android phone apps.

"Google's inability to curtail Android's massive fragmentation, even with Ice Cream Sandwich, has forced developers to focus on the iPad as the leading tablet platform, and on the iPhone first for smartphone apps," the report said.

For developers, the new iOS 6 is like a giant sandbox filled with new toys – more than 36 per cent are looking forward to playing around with Apple Maps. (Appcelerator's survey was conducted before the launch of the new OS and the backlash toward the Maps app.)

Interest in development of Windows 8 tablet apps grew slightly in August, but it wasn't because of the fanfare surrounding the Surface tablet. "What interests developers most about Windows 8 tablets is actually the shared development capabilities between desktop and tablet promised by Microsoft with the launch of Windows 8," the study found.

Still, "it's obvious that Microsoft has a lot of work to do to convince developers that Windows 8 will be a successful platform," the report concluded.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) fell to an all-time low, according to the survey, reaching only a nine per cent interest.

It doesn't take much to make developers happy, according to the survey, which points to the need for a large installed base of devices (think Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), low device cost, and revenue potential.

Additional survey findings include general developer dissatisfaction with HTML5 mobile applications and growing excitement over mobile cloud storage.