Survey: Android Developers Concerned About Profits, Divergence, More

Skyhook Wireless, a WiFi Position System developer, released the results of a survey Tuesday that found Android developers are concerned about their profits -- or lack thereof -- platform divergence, concern about Google Checkout, low download volumes, and more.

It's important to note that the survey was conducted among only 30 developers, a small sample in a developer pool many thousands strong -- Google has claimed some 15,000 registered developers. The company didn't release the methods used in its survey, or its margin of error.

The key findings of the survey include:

  • 57% of developers said they are not satisfied with their profits on Android.
  • 90% of developers reported individual app downloads of 10,000 or under on Android.
  • 52% of Android developers’ apps were downloaded fewer than 5,000 times.
  • Developers are concerned that Google Checkout contributes to their low download volumes. 43% feel that they would sell more apps if Android used a carrier billing or another simpler billing system.
  • 82% of those surveyed feel that the design of the Android Marketplace makes it difficult for apps to be noticed.
  • 68% of those surveyed are somewhat or not likely to put further work into their apps, compared to when they first released their app.

4% of developers reported being "Very Satisfied" with their profits on the Google platform, and only 10% of those developers are serving ads in their apps.

Skyhook Survey Graph
Graph courtesy of Skyhook Wireless.

It's important to note that the Android platform is still much smaller than Apple's iPhone platform, but that many analysts believe it will eventually become larger than the iPhone as more handset manufacturers get behind the platform. Even there, however, the survey found that some developers are concerned with the problems that growth will bring, rather than being excited about the potential.

"Rather than creating opportunity, platform divergence has just created further problems; we simply can't afford to test across all Android phones," developer James Grafton, developer of Android apps like Pic Swap and Get Me Home, told Skyhook in its survey. "Because of these issues, we decided to take a step back from Android and reconsider our efforts."

You can read the survey in full at Skyhook Wireless's Web site.