If I were a Developer in Africa , I Would Abandon iOS

If I was a deveopler, I would choice android

Pause a little bit, read the title again and now you can resume reading this. Yes, this means am not a developer and I have not done any active coding at least since 2007, wow it’s been that long. Now days in the battle for developers to make some money from their mobile applications, one needs to make a strategic decision which platform they rather develop for. If I was in the United States, I would obviously be on the iOS bandwagon, but unfortunately this is not possible for developers here in Africa?

Based on an infographic I saw last week coming from data source from Google, Apple, and tech VC firm Andressen Horowitz, iOS is prevailing against Android. However note that this iOS domination is not in sales of devices worldwide, neither is it in popularity of the operating system – but in gross app store revenue. Yes, developers want to make money off their apps and this is the reason why iOS dominates, but sadly not in emerging markets like Africa and India.

Gross App revenue

There is slow adoption of the iOS ecosystem in Africa, due to the high price tag attached to them.

The graph above shows numbers trailing 12m gross app store revenue in $billions of dollars. Google is climbing at a rate that’s slower than Apple, and Apple’s app store revenue is increasing exponentially. This shows that new users coming to Android are low-ARPU (Averave Revenue Per User) as they will bring in little cash. But the most obvious reason why developers in Africa are limited in tapping into the iOS app revenues is because of the slow adoption of the iOS devices due to the high price tag attached to them.

Despite the low revenues from Android users, developers can use other strategies to get more revenues not from the Google Play store alone, for example here in Uganda Kola Studios a prominent African game developing company has all their apps free in the Play store, but they take advantage of the Android numbers through ads at particular times of the day.

App revenue base

The chart you see above shows install base and developer revenue for the second quarter of 2014. This is the second 1/4th of the year, not a fiscal quarter – aka April, May, and June. You’ll see Android in orange. And it’s clear that for emerging markets and global user base, Android rules even if app ARPU on Android is roughly a quarter of iOS. I would still stick to Android and develop for more eye balls. At the end of the day the choice is yours to make. Devs what you think?

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