Analytics firm Flurry has analyzed trends on its network of 45,000 companies and 90,000 apps to determine where developers are investing their R&D budgets this year. In a comparison of Q1 2011 and Q2 2011, you can see that the Android project starts have dropped from 36% to 28% while those on iOS have picked up.
Overall, new project starts grew from 9,100 in Q1 to 10,200 in Q2, says Flurry. The recent downward trend for Android projects follows a particularly promising year for the Google mobile OS, where each quarter saw support climbing higher. By year-end, Android developer support was at 39% on Flurry's network.
So What's Causing the Shift?
Flurry speculates that the iPhone's launch on Verizon attracted more developer interest, due to the wider distribution for the Apple device here in the U.S. The iPad 2 launch this spring was also a factor, as sales climbed ever higher, leading Apple to announce that it could barely keep up with demand for the device.
Meanwhile, strikes against Android include the still under-developed Android Market and adoption issues surrounding Google Checkout, or so Flurry speculates. It noted, too, that PayPal's recent acquisition of Zong points to the growing 3rd-party competition to provide mobile payment alternatives to developers, which could mean billing fragmentation.
Keep in mind, of course, that trends that Flurry sees on its network, aren't necessarily indicative of the whole of mobile development. The sample size is large, but not all-encompassing by any means. That's not to say that you should take these figures with a grain of salt either - there is likely a shift underway, but the true size may still be unknown. Also remember, there's an Android-based Kindle tablet on the horizon. That will cause things to shift yet again, and probably in a very big way.