Home Which Mobile App Platform Should a Startup Focus on?

Which Mobile App Platform Should a Startup Focus on?

As much as startups want to launch their applications across all mobile platforms, it’s often more realistic to focus on just one. But which one? The iPhone has the biggest numbers in terms of both apps and app buyers, whereas Android usage stats are rocketing.

Earlier today we wrote about a new mobile analytics report that showed that Google is no Apple. We explained the difference between these two as relates to phone sales and usage. Now we’d like to highlight the difference for startups that are deciding which one to do business with. It’s tempting to go with Apple because of their current sales figures, but in the long run Google is going to be a far less limiting business partner.

What’s the Best Reason to Go With Apple?

In early March at the Mobilex Conference in Chicago, Charles Yim, of Ad Mob explained his company’s mobile metrics report: “Android and iPhone users download a similar number of apps every month and spend a similar amount of time using the apps. However, iPhone users continue to download more paid applications, with 50% of users purchasing at least one paid application a month compared to 21% of Android users and 24% of webOS users.”

This, as well as the iPad’s pre-order numbers, is one of the strongest arguments for why the iPhone is the best way to go. So yes, the money is in Apple apps, but consider that app developers are starting to make equivalent money with Android.

Difference between Apple and Google as a Business Partner

Recently ReadWriteWeb guest writer Daniel Cawrey pointed out that Google makes most of their ad revenue by driving traffic to Google-owned websites. So the greater the number of apps Google can get on their websites, the more page views and resultant ad revenue they generate.

Yes, that’s good for Google. But since selling mobile apps increases the amount of page views Google can generate, the company is going to be far less concerned with charging or limiting app developers in the way that Apple does.

Finally, mobile innovator forums are already being dominated by Android. Where do you think you’ll find more app makers to partner with? There are far fewer barriers to app developers collaborating on the Android platform compared to the walled-garden of Apple.

Tech startups often have to plan for long-term economic growth in ways that the current market says is not yet possible and when it come to long-term growth, Google Android is going to limit those possibilities far less than Apple.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the Android and Google marketplaces. We regret the error.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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