More on the iPhone (and iPod touch) Development Advantage


Instapaper and Tumblr developer Marco Arment riffs on the NYT's article on Palm webOS' trouble wooing developers, and it's predictably good stuff.

His major point is that with its huge install base (which topped 50 million iPhones and iPod touches months ago), it makes more financial sense to develop for Apple's platform, rather than Google's Android or Palm's webOS which might have on 5% to 10% as many devices on the market.

Giving developers an app store is the easy part. The hard part is bringing us enough customers. The iPhone is so good that it built up a huge installed base without any third-party apps, but no Android or webOS devices can say that yet.

Arment points out that the iPod touch makes a huge difference as well, giving developers a similar device to work on without the need for an expensive cell phone contract. He also echoes Fake Steve's comments on different hardware complicating development, though he thinks if Android popularity continues to grow, the platform might justify the investment one day.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 6 comments. Add yours.

derloos says:

It's not always about installbase. Symbian has, quote, "an unsurpassed installbase of 250 mln. customers" (which is true), and so WHAT?? Nothing, they spend millions to actually explain their customers that they actually have such a thing as OVI Store, and even worse - that a cool Nokia phone they own is actually a smartphone!
And it doesn't mean Apple doesn't have to work hard on making developers' experience better. I bet everyone here knows exactly what I'm talking about.

cardfan says:

The different screen factor will come into play for Apple in 2010 hopefully. They can't stick with current resolution.

Liz says:

Interessant comme point de vue. Mais penlorneslement, je me verrais mal parler a mon telephone D'autant plus qu'actuellement ca fonctionne pas mal avec l'application par exemple, mais il y a encore des rates malheureusement. Mais chacun ses besoins et ses preferences a voir Mais il y a actuellement d'autres priorites sur iOS je trouve!

Lady Kaede says:

Agree with Arment completely.

Alex says:

It would make sense that apple would require developers to make their apps resolution independent so that they could also use them on the upcoming tablet. =]