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Flurry: iPad, Verizon iPhone took wind out of Android sails

July 14, 2011: 1:36 PM ET

An analytics group reports that Google's third party support fell for second quarter in a row

Source: Flurry Analytics

Those who believe that the success of Android is due less to the virtues of Google's (GOOG) operating system than to Apple's (AAPL) failure to fully capitalize on its first-mover advantage will find support for their thesis in the report issued Thursday by Flurry Analytics.

Using data provided by developers for both iOS and Android devices, Flurry found that the share of third party projects being started on Android devices fell from a high of 39% in Q4 2010 to 36% in Q1 2011 and 28% in Q2.

Commenting on what could have precipitated this shift in developer support, Flurry identified two causes: The Verizon iPhone and the iPad. From the report...

1. iPhone Launch on Verizon:  With iPhone's arrival on Verizon in February 2011, three and half years after launching on AT&T, Apple closed the most significant vulnerability in its U.S. distribution, and likely world-wide.  In fact, with its lengthy exclusive distribution agreement of iPhone on AT&T, it could be argued that Apple itself gave Android the opportunity to reach critical mass on other carriers, most notably Verizon.  In that time, Google, Verizon and a host of OEMs worked hard and fast to push Android devices as an alternative to AT&T's iPhone juggernaut.  With the iPhone finally launched on Verizon, the pendulum appears to have swung back more in favor of iPhone over Android development.

2. iPad 2 Launch:  Establishing an installed base of more than 20 million tablet devices in less than one year, the iPad success has been compared to taking a buzz-saw to the PC industry.  Apple's iPad shipments from its last disclosed quarter were higher than the first two quarters that the iPad was available.  Apple has additionally claimed that they are seeing the "mother of all backlogs" in their efforts to build fast enough to keep up with consumer demand for the device.  We believe that wholesale consumer acceptance and adoption of tablets, which just a year ago was still held in question within the industry, is further luring developers to build for iPad instead of Android.

Click here to read the full report.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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