I wanted to bubble up this response from Flurry Marketing VP Peter Farago since I was pretty hard on another blogger’s interpretation of a Flurry report.
I work for Flurry, and completely agree that this is not a randomly selected, statistically significant sample. It clearly suffers from self-selection bias. Also, it’s worth noting that Flurry never positioned this data as a scientific study, but rather simply rolling up and presenting the data we were seeing so others could consume it. However, we believe there are things that can be learned from the data.
Regarding not including Windows Mobile, Symbian (and Palm and BREW for anyone counting) in our roll-up, it’s simply because we don’t support those platforms. We shipped our analytics to support iPhone, Android, Blackberry and JavaME. We chose to hold off on the others due to the lack of demand from the developer community. We spoke with dozens of developers before we started building our service, and with many more since. To us, it seemed that the four platforms we covered matched what our customers wanted. We’d be happy to support other platforms, and it’s relatively easy for us to do, since the back end is built in a way that knocking out additional SDK’s for those is not a major issue. So we’re happy to do so, but just waiting for the right amount of demand (based on our POV of the market).
What we think this could show is where the development community is spending its time. They are putting a significant amount of resources toward the iPhone vs. other platforms. We get very, very few requests to support WinMo. We do get more for Symbian, but primarily from Europe (which makes sense), but not quite as much as we would have once expected. And JavaME apps do run on the Symbian platform, so where the developer is using the J2ME app for S60, we could run there.
Another issue I’d like to volunteer regarding the data is that with WinMo, Symbian, JavaME and Blackberry (two of which we cover) distribution of those applications primarily goes through the carrier channel. So if a developer wants to add an analytics solution to an existing app, she would have to go through the whole carrier submission and approval process all over again. Anyone who has dealt with carriers directly (I have my scars) knows this is challenging. Updating apps for iPhone and Android is very easy, relatively speaking. This could account for the proportions of support for iPhone and Android as well.