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Dev: High Loyalty, Looming Business

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Recent surveys reveal great news for iOS development. The first is a broad indication of platform health: iPhone owners are the most loyal out of any mobile platform. The Global Smartphone Study 2010, conducted by mobile analytics firm Zokem, sampled 1,500 smartphone users in the US and found that the iPhone leads consumer loyalty at 73%. Google Android ranked second in the survey with a loyalty rating of 40%.
“The figures suggest clearly that iPhone is the top performing platform in terms of user loyalty, and therefore, it is an increasingly likely pick for a repurchase,” Zokem CEO Dr. Hannu Verkasalo said. “Android is a good number two in the US market, even though the loyalty score is not nearly as high as it is for iPhones, but it seems that people who are using Android are also very likely to buy an Android-based device as their next smartphone too.”
As you might expect with a high loyalty rating, the study also found that the churn rate (percent of owners that intend to switch platforms in the next 12 months) for iPhones is the lowest. At 29%, iPhone yet again tops Google Android at 44%. Overall, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry produced respectable loyalty numbers, while Nokia and Palm didn't fare so well. This is attributed to limited app compatibility, a lack of carrier options, and overall low adoption.
A second survey conducted by Kelton Research for Sybase, Inc. found that 2011 will see a huge push from IT managers for mobile application support. The survey reached out to 250 IT managers from the US and the UK and found the overwhelming majority – 90% – are planning to introduce new mobile applications this year. What's more surprising, 21% of respondents are planning to introduce 20 or more mobile business applications. 56% surveyed think that reaching company information from mobile platforms is an important part of doing business. The push factors behind mobile adoption are mostly predictable: 63% plan to implement mobile apps to save costs, 51% to enhance productivity, and a surprising 50% of IT managers report that employee demand is driving adoption.
“The proliferation of new devices, coupled with the vast expansion of mobile applications used by consumers has paved the road for mobility solutions to enter the enterprise at the worker, workgroup, and workflow levels,” Sybase Product Marketing Senior Director Dan Ortega said. “Given all this, we expect 2011 to be the year of the transformation of the enterprise. As evidenced by this survey, IT managers will be faced with greater complexities and requirements across the entire enterprise mobility framework, which is where a leading mobile solutions provider like Sybase can take an entire industry to the next level.”
Since the rise of the App Store and its impact on iPhone development Atlanta, many have salivated over the business implications of the technology. It looks like 2011 may be the year all those fevered dreams finally see the light of day. As evidenced by the surveys, iPhone users aren't going anywhere any time soon, and there's already booming demand for business applications. From the sounds of it, these aren't one-off business applications either. With several IT managers looking at 20 or more applications, there's a need right now for a full-featured mobile business suite, which means lots of iPhone development and iPad development for the iOS developers that can strike while the iron is hot. You may want to start brushing up on enterprise resource software and mobile integration, because there's loads of work just around the corner.
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