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Angry Birds maker talks platforms and why iOS is #1

Peter Verterbacka, one of the big birds behind top mobile game Angry Birds, sat down for an interview with Tech N’ Marketing to share his insights into the intersection of those areas and stated candidly why iOS will be their source of bread and butter for the time being.

Apple will be the number one platform for a long time from a developer perspective, they have gotten so many things right. And they know what they are doing and they call the shots. Android is growing, but it’s also growing complexity at the same time. Device fragmentation not the issue, but rather the fragmentation of the ecosystem. So many different shops, so many different models. The carriers messing with the experience again. Open but not really open, a very Google centric ecosystem. And paid content just doesn’t work on Android.

He later adds that paid apps just aren’t making money on Android yet, which is why they went with a free ad-supported version of Angry Birds for Android. They do intend to offer a way to pay to drop the ads, but does not expect that to yield the bonanza that the iOS versions have provided.

While acknowledging the challenge of Android fragmentation, he also downplays the problem by explaining it’s more of an ecosystem issue with vendors and carriers moving in different directions, and points out the whole mobile world is fragmented among iOS, Windows Phone, MeeGo, Android, WebOS, and BlackBerry.

As Angry Birds is the current benchmark of success in the mobile app world, it’s very generous of Verterbacka to share his perspective with us, though most of his big points are fairly apparent. Worrying over Android fragmentation in a market with six major operating systems in play really isn’t worth a developer’s time (though the guys backing Android should definitely be concerned).

As for iOS being #1 for developers, I’m sure everyone’s seen their share of gift cards this holiday season, either in a stocking or on a store rack. At least a few of those have been iTunes gift cards, but none for the Android App Market. Giving the gift of an iOS app is easy. Not so much for Android apps. Likewise, iTunes had been loaded with paying customers for years, while Android is coming in fresh. In that respect, Android is coming in way, way behind iOS, and it’s not a problem that can be fixed on the tech side of tech and marketing.

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8 Comments

  1. birbeck

    12/29/2010 at 5:53 pm

    I didn’t rtfa, but from the comment you quoted he absolutely does not say that Android sucks and iOS is #1. He says fragmentation isn’t a big deal and iOS is still more profitable for developers. No one is doubting that for a second, but spending on Android apps has increased significantly in the recent months. Will it match or exceed iOS this year?

    Here is an another interview on the same subject: http://theapplegoogle.com/2010/12/devdialogue-cover-art-downloader-app-developer-speaks/

    Reply

    • Sumocat

      12/29/2010 at 6:53 pm

      You are half right. Neither he nor I said Android sucks. However, the quote is “Apple will be the number one platform for a long time from a developer perspective…” Apple is a company, not a platform, so I did translate that to iOS, but I believe “number one” and “#1” are the same thing.

      I will also point out that I repeatedly mentioned that Android fragmentation was not a big deal to developers and my opening paragraph closes with “…iOS will be their source of bread and butter for the time being.” I understand not clicking through to the source article, but you could have at least read my post before commenting.

      Reply

      • birbeck

        12/29/2010 at 7:38 pm

        Sorry for the false accusation of “Android Sucks” that actually came from the tweet that brought me here not from your post or the comment quoted, and it was still fresh in my head after reading your post.

        iOS is definitely the more profitable market for game and app devs at the moment, nobody can dispute that, but the tables are shifting quickly and in 2011 we may see Android Market spending overtake iTunes App Store. Only time will tell. From other articles i’ve seen, their ad supported version is bringing in over 1 million revenue per month. If thats less than they make selling iOS copies then congrats for them, but $1m/mo from a single app is definitely not a failure.

        As a developer, the curated markets don’t bother me. The only apps that won’t be in them are apps that require root or apps that are bandwidth hogs. This will only affect a handful of apps and users, and the people it would affect know how to get around the restrictions. Angry birds is such a popular app it has nothing to worry about.

        Reply

        • Sumocat

          12/29/2010 at 8:10 pm

          Ah, I see the responsible (or irresponsible) tweet. The way it is structured is quite misleading.

          Reply

        • Sumocat

          12/29/2010 at 8:10 pm

          Ah, I see the responsible (or irresponsible) tweet. The way it is structured is quite misleading.

          Reply

  2. Anonymous

    12/30/2010 at 3:40 am

    If you develop for iOS why are you so retarded to develop for other platforms too?
    I would make Apps for iOS only. Why even bother with the other crap systems…

    Reply

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