According to research group Baird Equity Research, Android and iOS are still very interesting to developers, both in terms of financial potential and general interest, while Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7.5 share the next two spots.
BlackBerry 10 seems to have taken a hit since the last time the survey took place, decreasing 17 percent between Q1 and Q2. These stats, while from a limited sample of 200 developers, are a little concerning as they indicate that there has been a cooling of interest towards the upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform prior to its release. We’re hoping this interest — remember, the survey was about the “long-term outlook” of the various mobile platforms — is just a temporary dip and rises again as we learn more about BB10 in the coming months.
Baird also said that the drop in support for the BlackBerry 6/7 platform has slowed, meaning that most of the developers who were going to switch to Android or iOS have already done so. This leaves the pool much smaller but more loyal, and will likely continue to stay loyal once BB10 hits.
The BlackBerry Developer Blog fired back after these findings were released. In an article titled, “Bleeding Developers? Far from it,” RIM explains that developer interest for BlackBerry, including BB10 and the PlayBook, is rising quickly, and has increased 157% in the past year. More importantly, the number of devs hitting the BlackBerry 10 Jam sessions around the world (there are 23 participating countries) has been huge, and RIM is conveying an extremely optimistic sentiment for the future of BlackBerry development. We’re sure it’s a he said/she said situation at this point, but it will be interesting to see, down the road, how many developers flock to BlackBerry 10 and, more importantly, how many of them make money.
iOS was the only mobile OS which had an uptick in developer support between Q1 and Q2 of this year, according to Baird. Even Android, which has become a lot easier to develop for in recent months, dropped in developer outlook over the last six months, so it’s clear that iOS is still the platform of choice for devs who want to earn a living in the trade.