This is a question that needs to be carefully considered for any app development project. And there are many factors to consider. For internal corporate driven apps this question is normally simple. Most corporations gravitate towards one device that is deployed company wide making the decision academic.
For consumer oriented mobile applications this is quite a different story. Many factors in the decision making process come in to play such as:
- Audience: Is this a “world is your oyster” app or is it aimed at a niche audience? If it’s a niche audience you may luck out and be able to easily poll that base to see which devices are most popular.
- Demographic: Smartphone usage does differ among separate socio-economic demographics so it’s good to keep this in mind.
- Budget: iOS and Android are developed using completely different programming codes. Your going to essentially pay double your budget to develop on both at the same time.
- Time to market: Developing both concurrently is very possible, however because the designs have to be slightly different on iOS and Android this can increase development time.
- User base: Android users, while more numerous, are still used to getting free apps. iOS users are much more likely to pay for an app or conduct an in app purchase. This of course will eventually change with time, however it will be years before you see this change.
The best advice is to go with iOS first if you aren’t sure. One thing about the smartphone market I love is the fact that they will let you know loud and clear if they want it on their operating system.
At least at that point your making an informed decision and you know it’s worth the risk of spending the budget.
As always please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.