Open source developers ditch iPhone for Android


Apple's iPhone may have been dominating the app market up to now, but it seems Android is beginning to steal its open source developers away.

Figures released today from Black Duck Software has shown that 224 new open source projects specifically targeted at Android started up in 2009, almost three times the amount for the iPhone sitting at just 76 and 25 per cent of all platform projects.

This still puts Apple's platform in second place, with Windows Mobile hitting 75 projects, showing how strongly open source developers are favouring the Google platform.

"Although RIM continues to dominate the smartphone market and Symbian accounts for some 49 per cent of worldwide smartphone operating systems, Android's open source platform appears to be attracting more open source development among mobile application developers," said Peter Vescuso, executive vice president of marketing and business development at Black Duck Software, in a statement.

Ironically the iPhone actually helped the Android platform to grow, as many of the open source projects initially aimed just at the iPhone have now started developing Android versions.

However it was good news all round for mobile open source development last year, with a 39 per cent year on year increase on new projects across all the platforms. The 903 projects in 2009 brought the overall total to more than 3,200.

"Strong growth in open source mobile projects reflects the sustained strength of the smart phone market, and Android's accelerating growth in 2009 indicates that mobile application developers are drawn to open source platforms that have broad adoption by multiple handset manufacturers and mobile operators," said Vescuso.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.