A recent comment (originally a bit misquoted) by Eric Schmidt asserting developers will overwhelmingly prefer writing apps for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich over Apple’s iOS has resulted in some commotion among Apple watchers. His bait? Ad dollars on the Android platform. However, Android is generating an estimated$833 million in ad revenue a year for Google, at most, and two-thirds of this sum comes from iOS devices. Apple on its part paid out $3 billion to developers as of October 2011 after its customary 30 percent cut.
Even though Android beats iOS in unit sales, the number of devices available and activation numbers, iOS remains the most popular app environment in the world and now Flurry has some analytics confirming that app developers are betting on iOS this holiday season. Based on data gathered from 135,000 iOS and Android apps using Flurry analytics, turns out Android developers make barely a quarter of what their iOS peers are earning, or approximately 24 percent.
Flurry’s findings also beg the question of where does this leave other platforms? Well, per another report issued today by research firm NPD, iOS and Android combined represent a commanding 80 percent of the market for smartphones in the United States through October 2011, mostly at the expense of Research In Motion and Microsoft (see BGR’s handy comparison chart after the break).
Of course, approach Flurry’s numbers with caution because they estimate that Flurry Analytics powers approximately 25 percent of all apps downloaded from the App Store and Android Market combined, which should be a nice representative of the whole market. Also important, they estimated the remainder of December based on the first third of the month’s data already collected and they only measure in-app purchases, not paid downloads. With that in mind, it’s interested how a portion of new Android projects (green) has actually declined from more than one-third of all new projects in Q1 2011 down to roughly one-quarter by the year’s end, even though dozens of attractive Android smartphones hit the market in 2011.