oConomy
December 11, 2008 by Frank Higgins

A good gauge of the strength of a platform is the trend in demand for development on that platform. Since cell phones are becoming fully featured handheld personal computers, the availability of cool and useful applications they offer will be the battleground by which these platforms will claim their ownership of the cell phone market.

oDesk’s programming skill trends show the demand for application development across almost 80 different skills.  You can get an interesting look at the iPhone’s strong initial and continuously increasing demand. 

See the full rankings and trends for iPhone Developers

 

               

As you can see in the graph above, we had 40 jobs posted per month in the 3 months from March until June. This shows a very strong belief in Apple and its future as well as a validation of the power of its public relations department in generating strong buzz. This is followed by a dramatic increase in demand for iPhone developers over the next 6 months to 160 jobs per month posted for iPhone application development. Apple “Talked the talk” and then “Walked the walk” by delivering, as it did with the iPod, a product that people wanted to use. 

Google is less aggressive in its release of new products and features. In many cases we are lucky to get a Google blog post on a new product or feature.  Android is not strictly “Google’s” as it is open source and is merely backed by Google. It is not a Google “product” but we can’t help put them together.

The first Android-powered phone snuck out with nowhere near the fanfare of the iPhone release and it shows in its application demand.  Preceding its release, there was literally no demand for application development.

See the full rankings and trends for Android Developers

 

Post release, the demand for application development has increased to a humble 12 jobs per month compared with the iPhone’s very healthy 160 per month. This represents to some the degree the future of the device’s feature set and does not impress at this stage.

In looking at the demand for application development between the iPhone and Android, one can appreciate the power of the Apple PR department, Apples reputation and the continued popularity of the iPhone. Even with Google’s powerful reputation, Android does not even seem to put up a fight with the mighty Apple product. We can’t necessarily count Android out yet, far from it but it has a ways to go yet based upon the past, present and future application development that the iPhone has mustered.