Though you may think us to be iPhone fans all the time, we really do want to root for the underdog. Whether it's Google's Android or Palm's webOS, the smartphone industry could really use a David to the iPhone's Goliath to promote competition and better products all around.
So it comes as a bit of a downer when we hear that Android development isn't going so well. Gameloft, whom you may know for making dozens of well-designed mobile games that look an awful lot like certain other popular games, has told Reuters that it (among others) has decided to invest less in developing for the Android platform.
Gameloft's finance director Alexandre de Rochefort states that the problem is that “[the Android's application store] is not as neatly done as on the iPhone,” resulting in a market that doesn't encourage Android customers to buy applications for their phone. Rochefort further goes on to explain that “on Android, nobody is making significant revenue” because Google hasn't done a very good job of promoting software on the Android.
iPhone games alone have made for a very generous 13 percent of Gameloft's revenue in the last quarter. By comparison, Android games only make for about 0.0325 percent of that revenue—400 times less.
We've reported on a steady exodus of smaller developers from the iPhone platform, thanks to the App Store's often murky policies. If Gameloft's claims are true, we may see more of the larger developers start to move away from Android—or continue to stay away—thanks to a lack of marketing.
In the past, Google has largely relied on viral marketing, its partners, and word of mouth to promote its own products. Perhaps Google could stand to learn a thing or two from Apple's marketing?
“Hi, I'm an Android app.” “And I'm a rejected iPhone app.”