(Note: this post is a living document) As recently as 6 months ago, this would be a silly question. The general rule is that you always build on Apples iOS first then Android second, then other OS’s later. Assuming you have the skills or people to choose what to build for, the common thinking is you always build for iOS first and then it becomes a strategic question of competitive app density and ease of development for while OS you would target next.

However, with the explosive growth of Android platforms and recently the announcement that Apple wants 30% of any app that has a subscription fee, a question has been raised that perhaps the golden rule of building for Apple first is no longer the case. But as a counterpoint, many reports point out that many Android users are not as ready to pay for Apps as Apple users and further developing for Android can be complicated as a result of market fragmentation.

There has been an interesting conversation going on within the softwaredev-92 users group addressing this question (I’m going to post this question on Quora as well  ).  I’m going to try to sum up the on going conversation here as it develops, however the basic takeaway is that; yes there are a many and soon more Android devices out there then iOS, but the mindset of the people who have those devices are not the same as Apple devices where having an iphone is still considered a luxury expense, where many android devices are aimed at a lower spending demographic and as such as not as willing or in the habit of spending money for apps.

This could change however.  Now that there are more and more high-end devices running Android (I thinking of slates and tablets here) could that attract a market that is more likely to spend then the current Android population.  Or at least given raw numbers, that the Android market penetration could be enough that even a subset of affluent Android users could make the ROI on building for Android approach that of iOS?

from Mark-

-83% of Android users came into the Android fold from either “buy one get one free” or were from the low end of cell phone replacements. (Remember, Verizon was giving away the Droid to keep people from going to iPhone. Most of those users are what the report considered as non-buyers if they had to pay for it. (Those same non phone buyers from the survey are pretty much non- app buyers also). Globally, then and now, all the carriers that did not have the iPhone were/are also giving away free Androids to prevent losing market share.
-87% of this group only used their previous phones for calling and text. No other features on the phone were used.
-79% of this group surveyed said they did not intend to pay for additional software/apps or features on the phone.
-The sales of low end mobile phones will be dominated by Android because it is free to the manufacturers for now (could drastically change in the future pending the Oracle lawsuit against Google). But this segment of the market is cheap and this segment is not willing to pay for apps compared to the iOS market. So the market numbers  of Android vs iOS are distorted. Even though Android has big numbers, the majority of their numbers are coming from a segment that will not spend on apps like the iOS market. (we see that now already)
Lets add to this observation with another point..
From Christopher Schardt –
Mark wrote:
> I can’t remember which meetup group meeting this occurred at. But a few months back someone talked about developing their app on both platforms and that they had to make something like 140 ? changes to the Android app for all the different manufacturers. He said it was a nightmare and they won’t do it again.Sorry, I can’t remember who it was or what type of app they had but he saidsomething to the effect that each manufacturer has their own custom layer on topof Android that effects the apps and you have to make changes to account for the custom layers. He said they would have to retest on every new release on each manufacturer. Can anyone confirm this, or if this is still the case?

And then later:
> That presentation may have been these guys. Whether or not it was them. Here’s the point:


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