Q3 2014 Developer Economics Report From Vision Mobile

Vision Mobile Q3 2014 Developer Economics Report

The 7th edition Developer Economics Report: State of the Developer Nation for Q3 2014 has been released by Vision Mobile and provides a unique insight into the mobile app development industry.

With findings based on over 10,000 respondents from 137 countries, the Vision Mobile Developer Economics Report for Q3 is without question the leading industry report showcasing the latest trends and discusses platform consolidation, languages, consumer vs. enterprise revenues, as well as developer tools and segments.

The Q3 2014 Developer Economics Report tracks the latest developer experiences across platforms, revenues, apps, tools, segments and regions.

This report focuses on eight major themes – each comes with its own infographic:

  1. Platform wars go local – Global vs. regional Mindshare
  2. Language ranking – Most popular vs. most actively used programming languages
  3. Language lock-in – Language mix for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry
  4. App monetization – App revenues globally, Android vs. iOS, app revenue split
  5. Consumer vs. enterprise – Revenues for developers targeting consumers vs. enterprises
  6. Game developers – Revenues for mobile game developers, top platforms and tools
  7. Developer tools – Revenues of developers using tools, top tool categories
  8. Developer segments – Characteristics, sizes and revenues of the 8 developer segments

Here are some of the key take-aways from the report:

Platform Wars

  • Platform Wars Q3 2014 Developer Economics ReportThe platform wars appear to be ending with iOS claiming the majority of the high-end device market with Android winning the remaining market share almost everywhere else.
  • While Windows Phone is continuing to gain developer mindshare, the users haven’t yet shown any real affection for the Windows Mobile operating system or Windows Mobile devices.
  • Many developers are focusing on fewer platforms with the average number falling from 2.9 to 2.2 over the past 12 months, probably mostly attributed to BlackBerry 10 rapidly leaking developer mindshare, down to 11%.
  • HTML5 is continuing to gain traction and popularity with 42% of developers using it as a technology for app development and only 15% of developers still targeting mobile browsers as a distribution platform.

Development Languages

  • Platform Priority Q3 2014 Developer Economics ReportThe primary languages developers use when creating their apps are Java with the top spot at 26% and Objective-C for iOS in second at 17% although HTML5 is now the most widely used technology at 42%.
  • Even though Microsoft don’t control the mobile OS layer, with 14% of developers still using C# as their primary language, they may still have an opportunity to be a force in mobile development.
  • A surprisingly high number of iOS and Android developers (47% & 42%) are using something other than the native language on their platforms.
  • Hybrid apps, HTML5 apps with a native wrapper are the most popular non-native option for building Android and iOS apps.

App Revenues

  • App Economy Q3 2014 Developer Economics ReportThe majority of iOS (50%) and Android (64%) of app businesses are not sustainable at current revenue levels that are below the ‘app poverty line’ of $500 per app per month.
  • 24% of developers interested in making money earn nothing at all. A further 23% make less than $100 per app per month.
  • The overall app economy, across all revenue sources, continues to grow however the revenues are highly concentrated at the top end of the revenue scale where there are just 1.6% of developers with apps earning more than $500k per month, and collectively they earn multiples of the other 98.4% of app developers combined.

Enterprise Developers

  • While the majority of app developers primarily target consumers (67%), the 16% of developers who target enterprises are twice as likely to be earning over $5k per app per month.
  • iOS currently appears to be winning the battle for enterprise adoption and revenues however there are 10% more developers targeting Android in the enterprise rather than iOS, which, on the back of a number of announcements from Google I/O 2014, may seem like a smart decision for the future as Android makes a strong push into enterprise solutions.
  • Although traditional leaders in the enterprise arena, Microsoft and Blackberry are seeing very weak adoption for their new platforms amongst enterprise developers due to lack of demand from the market.

Game Developers

  • Game Developers Q3 2014 Developer Economics ReportMobile games continue to dominate the app store revenues, yet the majority of game developers are still struggling.
  • 33% of developers make games however 57% of those games make less than $500 per month.
  • When it comes to game development it appears that experience is a critical factor as the more games a developer has shipped the more likely they are to be financially successful yet 70% of game developers have shipped less than 4 titles.
  • Games is a multi-platform world with the average games developer targeting 3 platforms versus 1.75 platforms for non-games developers.
  • Multi-platform games benefit from cross-platform game development tools with Unity by far the most popular, used by 47% of game developers. The next paid tool, Adobe Air, comes a distant second at 15%

Tools of the Trade

  • Third party tools have become a critical part of successful app businesses and there’s a strong correlation between the number of tools a developer uses and the money they make.
  • The most popular third party app developer tool are the Ad Networks, with over 30% of developers implementing ads in some way despite this being one of the few tool categories that is not associated with higher than average revenues.
  • Cloud Computing appears to be the domain of the more experienced developers with over 40% of developers implementing cloud platforms having over 6+ years experience in mobile apps adopting them.

Without doubt, the app economy is still growing and evolving right before our eyes.

The information in the Developer Economics Q3 2014: State of the Developer Nation Report provides a unique snapshot of industry trends that is invaluable to anyone running or starting an app business.

To download the complete report, visit the Developer Economics website:


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