Preferred mobile platform for new app


3

We are getting into the dev of a mobile app for our startup. I have a preference in terms of which platform I want to start with, due to my current market demographics. However I also fall under the same demographic and have a mobile with the same OS.

If you had to choose one of the following on which to release your first app, which one would it be and why?

Android iPhone Blackberry EDIT: The app is for a niche restaurant review site, where the demographics are mainly comprised of young professionals with a passion for food and drink.

Iphone Android Mobile Apps

asked Jun 2 '11 at 23:22
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Sam
509 points
  • D - In it's current state your question is too subjective. As you already mentioned, consumer demographics play a large part and they will change from app to app. You should probably edit the question to focus on a specific demographic, and which OS currently fits that niche best. – Justin C 9 years ago
  • What is the business model of the app? If you include such information, the experts here can utilize their business knowledge for their answer. – David 9 years ago
  • David, the business model of the app is sustained sales. We anticipate that most of the sales will be as a result of direct promotion, not necessarily from the mobile platform store or market. – Sam 9 years ago

6 Answers


3

iPhone has a good edge for a first platform for several reasons:

  1. Market share (Google demographics of mobile market and I think you'll see your target user is heavily iPhone centric).
  2. Do a little informal market research. Walk into several local restaurants and spend 15 minutes counting the number of iPhones vs other platforms. I believe iPhone will dominate your count.
  3. The Apple app store is a very powerful, easy, low cost way to launch a mobile app.
  4. Perception - The general public is tremendously warm to all things Apple. Associating your startup early with this culture allows Apple's huge marketing efforts to flow positively towards your company.
answered Jun 3 '11 at 01:30
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Keith De Long
5,091 points
  • +1 for item #2. – Tim J 9 years ago
  • item #2 is great. The subway or commuter train is another great place to research tablets and smartphones. – Nicko 9 years ago
  • These are all great point I hadn't considered – Sam 9 years ago

3

There've been valid points made for both Android and iPhone. I've led development and defined the business case for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and java versions of our product, and based on that I have some perspectives:

  • my iPhone apps let me sleep well. The dictatorial rule of the app store make it easier for me to know my apps work, by and large. The iPhone has been a really stable platform.
  • The marketing cachet of the iPhone is undeniable, not to mention the reach and power of the brand. Don't underestimate that.
  • Android has lower hurdles, true. But the platform's fragmenting, with new skins for Android from different manufacturers, and a lot of rev. levels out in the wild. Google pushed a software upgrade to some of my users and it revealed a bug - stopped my customers dead in their tracks. That's something to consider. When we developed for BlackBerry, a platform for which I can't wait to age out of our 'inventory', the variations of O/S appearance and layout between carriers was a real nightmare.
  • Android vs. iPhone is that classic battle of cheaper ubiquity over quality: PC vs. Mac; Kalashnikov vs. M-16, Cosmonauts' lead pencils vs. NASA's pressurized Space Pen, etc. There's an opening here to speculate their future, but why bother. Accept that you need both today.
  • Android is growing like wildfire but which demographic is most important to you now, when you're building appeal and initial loyalty?

Based on experience and the great points by Keith and others, I'm guessing iPhone

answered Jun 3 '11 at 03:32
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Nicko
840 points
  • I really like points #4 and #5. Great insight, thanks! – Sam 9 years ago
  • Thanks. Another point I forgot to mention is developing a mobile web version of your platform, if it's possible. In some cases, mobile web provides a more flexible option to get ideas out there. One major plus for Android: you upload your signed .apk file and BOOM, you're live. With the App Store, you have to wait for them to review your latest revision - can be 2 weeks or more. – Nicko 9 years ago

1

In my experience (as an Android developer) I'd go with Android.

reasons:
1. While android may not be surpassing iphone in market share yet, it is experiencing the fastest growth. so looking to the future, I'd stick with Android.

  1. Being a college student and a "young professional" the majority of my friends and co-workers have android phones.
  2. It's really easy to start developing on android. You pay a $25 fee which allows you to sell on the marketplace, and you're done.
answered Jun 3 '11 at 02:44
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Tjernigan
41 points
  • This is interesting as I do believe Android will surpass iPhone in market share in the future. How far ahead in the future is yet to be seen however. Many of my friends and colleagues are also getting Android, and I myself have seriously considered many times to switch to an Android phone from my iPhone. Since you're a developer maybe you can shed some light. I've read that development for an Android app takes much longer than the same app for iPhone or Blackberry. If this is true, wouldn't development costs be significantly higher than for another platform? – Sam 9 years ago
  • I can't say for sure as I've never developed for iPhone or blackberry. I think it depends more on what languages you already know. As someone who up until recently only knew Java, I drifted towards Android so I wouldn't have to learn a new language (even though I ended up having to learn how to do the layout using XML). It will likely take a little longer to develop for android because of the variety of devices the app needs to be compatible with, but I don't think it would be a substantial difference in development time. – Tjernigan 9 years ago
  • Thanks for the input – Sam 9 years ago

1

Your target demographic is Restaurant goers? definitely iPhone first. It's more fashionable and more likely to be found in the hands of those who prefer fine dining (I am saying that without an iota of cynicism).

answered Jun 3 '11 at 04:36
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Ron M.
4,224 points

1

A more important consideration would be your country. In India for example only around 5% of the smart phone users have an iPhone or Android. This is totally different than that of the US. You are from Canada thus you should try to get the local smart phone market shares and pick the largest platform.

answered Jun 3 '11 at 22:56
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Ravi Vyas
236 points
  • Thanks Ravi, you raise a very valid point. – Sam 9 years ago

0

The latest statistics shows that iOS is the most used platform in Canada in 2012 http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os-ww-monthly-201211-201211-map Android and BlackBerry are also popular, so before choosing the operating system, you may conduct a research and discover your clients' preferences. If you plan to develop a business app, BlackBerry should be considered. Also, Windows Phone is increasing its popularity and can get a significant market share in the nearest future.
Anyway, you will win from designing an app for iOS or Android, so do not hesitate.

answered Dec 18 '12 at 22:49
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Anastasiya
1 point

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