I stumbled across this infographic on the mobile developer journey from Vision Mobile.
Very interesting stuff, and here’s my summary and opinion:
- It takes a developer 3 times as much time to learn Symbian that it would take to grasp Android.
- Java ME looks like it is not entirely dead because it’s so wide spread and there are lot of apps on the market. Questions remain about the quality level of these apps.
- App stores are the preferred distribution channel for every platform except Java ME. That’s because it’s almost impossible to make a generalized offering of apps for a product base that’s so divers (device features like screen size, processing power, memory, …).
- App stores have a very positive effect on the time-to-market for mobile apps.
- 42% procent of the projects have good or outstanding results in sales and return.
- Over a quarter of the project seem to have poor results.
At the top of the the infographic it says that the choice of the platform by developers is based primarily on commercial reasons, a good conclusion of the research. I’d like to add that choice of platform is also based on ease of development, fun and to a certain degree trendiness.
In a not so distant past I got involved in a Symbian based project and based on that I would like to propose that every Symbian phone should be refunded and recycled. There is just nothing good that I can say about it.
Development on Android and for the iPhone seems to be pretty nice though and way easier compared to Java ME or Symbian.
Java ME isn’t bad in theory but device manufacturers usually implement the specs in different ways and most of the time they do so very poorly.
The possible target devices are also very different, making the development of an application that runs well on all Java ME capable devices virtually impossible.
If you have Java developers, do them a favor and invest in development for Android based devices.