Mobile developers now top 12M, and they can’t get enough of Android


Mobile application development has hit new heights, with more than 12 million software developers now writing apps for small-screen devices, according to a new Evans Data survey.

Evans Data’s “Global Development Population and Demographics Study” found that the number of developers of mobile applications has increased fivefold since it first began measuring participation back in 2006. At the time of its first study on the subject, just 2 million developers were targeting mobile.

But now more than half of the world’s total developer population of 21 million is building mobile apps, Evans Data said. It added that it expects the world’s mobile developer population to top 14 million by 2020.

“Mobile development has really become ubiquitous,” Evans Data Chief Executive Janel Garvin said in a statement. “Mobile devices are everywhere, but while most modern applications support mobile devices, not all developers are working on the client target side. Some are server- or back-end oriented or are concentrating more on the application logic or more and more on newer machine learning implementations, so watching the number of mobile developers move from just under 2 million 10 years ago to 12 million today just provides a reflection of the use of mobile devices today.”

Vesides looking at who’s developing what, the study is perhaps one of the most accurate gauges of software developer population across four major regions encompassing 40 countries. In addition, the study also looks at what technologies developers are planning to adopt, now and in the future.

The study shows that Android is still the most popular mobile platform for developers, 5.9 million of whom said it’s their primary platform. Some 2.8 million developers said they target iOS as their first platform, while the rest indicated they have no preference, targeting multiple platforms at once.

Regionally, however, the study shows that these preferences differ somewhat. While Android is the platform of choice in Asia-Pacifc (APAC), with 2.2 million developers targeting it compared with just 500,000 on iOS, Apple devices are the preferred platform with North American developers.

There, iOS boasts around 200,000 developers more than Android. However, Apple and iOS would do well to reach out to APAC-based developers, becauses Evans Data says it’s the fastest-growing region, and is likely to remain so for some time with the expanding number of developers in India and China.

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