About a year ago, we launched Collectorz.com iPhone apps and they are selling well. However, the availability of these apps has caused a lot of requests for similar apps for Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and lately, for iPad.
We are already working on iPad editions. The iPad development costs are relatively low because of our in-house experience with Apple iOS programming and because we can share a lot of code with the iPhone editions. Moreover, I strongly believe that the iPad is going to be an important software platform. Especially for our type of software and our target audience.
But what about Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile? Are these platforms popular enough to justify the development of dedicated mobile apps? What is the popularity of these devices compared to iPhone and iPod touch? More importantly: how popular are these devices amongst Collectorz.com customers?
Well, let’s just ask them with a simple survey.
This is the survey I sent out last week, to all Collectorz.com customers, using SurveyMonkey. To get as many responses as possible, I kept it simple. Just two multiple choice questions:
- What kind of mobile device(s) do you own? (multiple answers possible)
- iPod touch
- Android based phone
- Windows Mobile based phone
- Nokia smartphone
- Palm Pre
- I don’t own any smartphone or similar device
- How many apps have you purchased for the device(s) you selected above?
- More than 20
After five days this survey had 12 thousand responses. More than enough to make the results statistically valid, so let’s look at the numbers:
What kind of mobile device(s) do you own?
First, the results of question one. Please note that users could select multiple options, so that’s why the numbers don’t add up to 100%.
Clearly, the Apple devices are very popular in our market. Using a SurveyMonkey filter I found that 45% of Collectorz.com customers owns an iPhone, iPod touch *or* iPad. 2.5% of my audience responded that they own an iPhone, an iPod touch *and* an iPad.
Which means that with some smart code sharing between iPhone and iPad apps, we can reach almost half of our customers with a mobile app.
Which is 3 times as many as can be reached with an Android or BlackBerry app. I know, both are built in Java, but I doubt that we can share much code between them.
Personally, I was surprised to see how popular Windows Mobile still is. However, its’ popularity seems to be on the decline. Nokia, Palm Pre? Too small to bother.
(Please note that this survey was sent to existing Collectorz.com customers only. If we have been attracting extra customers *because* of the iPhone apps, then the results may be slightly skewed in favor of the Apple platforms. However, this effect should be minimal.)
How many apps have you purchased?
I added this question to find out whether the owners of the different devices are actually buying apps for it. I mean, a particular phone may be very popular but if nobody is buying apps for it… then you have to wonder whether developing apps for that platform will be very effective.
These are the results, for the four popular mobile phone types:
The above charts confirm my suspicion that Blackberry and Windows Mobile users are less of an app-buying crowd. The numbers for Android are quite low too, but this is probably because the platform is relatively young.
I was happy to see that our current focus on the Apple devices was justified by the survey results. All the more reason to get our iPad apps out as soon as possible and to keep improving and updating our iPhone apps.
I was a bit disappointed by the percentage of Collectorz.com customers owning Android and Blackberry devices, especially compared to the Apple audience. But we will stick to our plans to create Android and Blackberry apps. The market seems big enough to earn back the development costs. So we just hired a new Java programmer and he has already started on the Android apps 🙂
Apps for Windows Mobile, Nokia or other phones? Don’t think so…