As keen observers of mobile trends, PRimage has noted some interesting new data which points to the important role that both iOS and Facebook are playing in the app marketplace.
- Facebook is playing an important role in app discovery and reportedly drove people to the Apple App Store 83 million times in May.
- FB reports that seven of the top 10 grossing iOS apps and six of the top 10 Android apps had integrated with Facebook as of May. Facebook does not appear to be making money from these apps. This move appears to be about having reach and relevance into the mobile app world, not about driving revenue in the short-term.
- The Facebook App Center began rolling out to people in the U.S. earlier this month, with more than 600 apps and is the latest example of how Facebook is trying to boost its mobile offerings. At launch, the App Center features mobile and web apps, such as Draw Something and Pinterest. It also lets users browse the apps their friends use and provides personalized recommendations.
- The mobile integration includes making the App Center available in the Facebook iOS and Android apps. Users can also send apps they find on their computer to their mobile device using the “Send to Mobile” feature.
- New data also shows that seven out of 10 apps built are for iOS – and that Apple continues to gain further support from developers, with iOS having a 69 percent share of new project starts in apps for the first quarter of 2012 while Android had a 31 percent share.
- Apple has been the clear leader in terms of apps for a while, with developers choosing to invest their budgets in iOS apps first. However, FB is also clearly beginning to play a bigger role in app discovery, driving integrations with iOS and Android.
- It seems that a key point of differentiation between iOS and Android for developers is how much more money they are likely to generate on the former. It is useful for us to note that for every $1 a developer earns on iOS, it will earn about $0.24 on Android.
- While iOS offers developers a compelling proposition, the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem drives complexity and costs for developers.
- Latest stats show that the iPad commanded 88 percent of worldwide user sessions between January and March of this year while the Samsung Galaxy Tab had a 9 percent share and the Kindle Fire 3 percent.
- The Samsung Galaxy S II had an 18 percent share of worldwide app user sessions in May, all the others had shares less than 10 percent. This means that each additional device a developer supports will deliver only a small increase in distribution coverage.
- Stats show that the majority of consumers are running on an Android operating system that is three to four iterations old.
PRimage managing director, Judy Viitanen, believes that from this data it is clear that iOS should be the lead platform for developers; and that while developers can’t ignore Android, it should be their second platform. She is part of a startup app development company in the US, and is a firm believer that developers should also integrate Facebook’s Open Graph to have access to its single sign-on feature and get a bump in free, organic traffic from Facebook.
Watch this space for more comments, as the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference starts today in San Francisco, Google’s I/O conference kicks off on June 27, also in San Francisco.