Can mobile disrupt Facebook and should developers be optimistic?

The premier global market intelligence firm IDC has recently surveyed 5,526 Appcelerator Titanium developers on their perceptions of the current and future mobile development trends and priorities. The survey is claimed to be the largest mobile developer survey ever conducted to date and results in the following findings:

  • 66% of mobile developers believe that a mobile-first social media startup can disrupt Facebook.

Mobile provides an unprecedented opportunity to transform the whole industry or certain niche and build towards competitive advantage. A good example is Uber, an on-demand private driver app that has already disrupted the taxicab industry in the United States and Canada. Other examples include Layar that has once disrupted the augmented reality (AR) and object recognition (OR) niche, and Bipper, a revolutionary mobile app that has transformed the personal security domain in Scandinavia and is gradually moving to the United States.


The fact that mobile developers believe Facebook is at risk of being leapfrogged by a mobile-first social media startup should be perceived by companies in mature markets as a cautionary note that to stay competitive in the mobile era, they will have to fundamentally re-envision their traditional business models through a mobile-first lens.

  • Besides smartphones and tablets, the Top 5 devices that mobile developers will most likely build apps for by 2015 are: TV sets, connected cars, game consoles, foldable screens and Google Glass.


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  • Mobile developers say they’re generally disappointed with HTML5, except for cross-development capabilities and immediate updates which they find useful and satisfactory.


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  • Regarding mobile devices, the Top 3 developer preferences as of Q3 2012 are iPhone (iOS), iPad (iOS) and Android Phone (Android).


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It’s noteworthy that the attractiveness of Blackberry devices for mobile developers has seen an unprecedented decline from almost 40% in Q1 2011 to 9% in Q3 2012. The question is whether Blackberry 10 will be able to improve the situation for RIM.

  • Mobile developers are excited about such new Apple features as enhanced Siri and Apple Maps.
  • Developers are cautiously optimistic about Microsoft’s ability to deliver this single development environment that it has promised.

Most of specialists polled think Microsoft will only be able to regain its lost popularity and reduced market share if it manages to deliver a “strong showing right out of the gate”. Otherwise, developers just won’t tolerate any missteps.


Source: IDC & Appcelerator, 2012



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