Om Malik has a good post on the Nokia – Microsoft partnership. If you have been not following the news, Nokia has “given up” on their Symbian platform in favor of Microsoft’s Win7 mobile operating system.
The war for mobile applications as Robert Scoble calls is is more about application developers and their talent than for apps themselves.
We did some analysis based on Vision Mobile’s Megatrends presentation for 2011 to understand the market need for developers of mobile applications.
Consider this: Of the over 350,000 applications on the Apple and over 150,000 on Android marketplace, nearly 67% are built by independent application developers (2-10 person companies), rest by larger companies. The large companies outsource nearly 60% of their application development, compared to only 19% or less by independent application developers. Of that nearly 30% comes offshore (Eastern Europe, India, etc.).
Here are some numbers from a leading outsourced mid-sized development firm here in India.
Amount of time it takes an average developer to get proficient on Objective C (Apple) – 5-6 months.
Amount of time it takes an average developer to get proficient with Java (Android) – 7-9 months.
Amount of time to learn .NET / Visual Basic / ASP etc. (Win 7) – 3-5 months.
Also consider # of resources available on these platforms (from India primarily).
1. Objective C – less than 20,000
2. Java – Over 350,000
3. Microsoft related technologies – over 1,000,000
Bottom line: I wont write Win 7 and Nokia off yet.
If developers who know the platform and languages start to develop applications just because they know a platform better, the “gravitational” pull goes towards a platform.