Today I had an opportunity to read new report from VisionMobile called “Developer Economics | State of the Developer Nation Q3 2014”. The report is based on survey of over 10,000 mobile developers across the world. Here are nine most interesting facts I have found there:

  • 50% of iOS developers and 64% of Android developers earn less than $500 per month. Even more interesting is that only 35% of all developers are doing it as hobby, part time or learning/exploring new technology. That means that the rest are trying to do it for living and failing. Report notes that some of the developers may have not released their apps yet hence have nothing to sell, but still the number is pretty discouraging for people who consider building mobile apps for living.
  • There are probably still more chances to earn decent money from iOS apps: 17% of developers who build for Apple platform earn more than $10K per app per month versus just 9% of Android-first developers. There is probably a correlation between platform popularity in different parts of the world noted later: lower cost of living may lead to lower earning expectation for many Android developers.
  • Like in most industries where marginal cost of new product copy is close to zero there is extremely high inequity in income: top 1.6% of developers earning $500K+ per month get several times more than the rest 98.2%. Pretty in line with Mr N. Taleb’s observations of how modern economics works if you read his books.
Mobile developers income 2014
Mobile developers income 2014, click to view full-size image
  • While 67% of developers targeting consumers, looks like it is now easier to earn money from enterprise apps: 16% of developers who target businesses are twice as likely to earn over $5K per app per month and have almost 3x more often earn over $25K.
  • Talking about technologies, HTML5 is getting less popular – more developers use native languages as a primary development tool. 42% still use HTML/CSS/Javascript but for many it is a supplemental technology, only 17% employ it as a main tool of trade.
  • Android is #1 priority development platform (42% of developers), followed by iOS (32%) and Windows (10%). Android is especially popular in South America, Asia and Middle East&Africa
  • 23% of developers use multi-platform development tool. Surprisingly 26% of them publish only for one platform, so missing main benefit and probably as a result are among the lowest earners;
  • Most popular class of 3rd party tools is Ad Networks, used by 30% of developers
  • VisionMobile researchers identified 8 segments of mobile developers by motivation, goals and definition of success. The chart below presents that spectrums
Mobile developers motivation 2014
Segmentation of mobile developers, click to image to enlarge

Full report is available at VisionMobile website: 

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