Distilling market noise into market sense

VisionMobile is the leading research company in the app economy. Our Developer Economics research program tracks developer experiences across platforms, revenues, apps, tools, APIs, segments and regions, via the largest, most global developer surveys.

VisionMobile’s top 10+1 blog articles for 2010

[As 2010 draws to a close, Marketing Manager Matos Kapetanakis reveals the 10 most influential articles in the VisionMobile blog for 2010, plus best quotes and reader comments. We also showcase our very best blog article for 2010, “Is Android Evil”, discussing Google’s control points and dispersing the illusion of the platform’s much vaunted openness].

VisionMobile's top 10+1 blog articles for 2010

During 2010, we have seen our blog reach new heights, having quadrupled our reader base over 2009, with more than 220 thousand unique visits, 4.4 thousand Tweets and 660 likes on Facebook. Moreover, our readers joined the conversation with over 550 comments across the 49 articles published this year. Another interesting factoid is that Twitter became the no 1 referring site for our blog during the past 12 months. So, a big thank you to our readers and all of you who helped spread the word!

What would you like to see on our blog for next year?

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Also, a big thanks to all 23 of our guest authors, whose contribution to the blog was paramount to its success. Some of our most successful articles this year, including “The Android UI dilemma: Unify or Differentiate”, “The Flash vs. HTML5 endgame” or “Waking the Dragon: The Rise of Android in China” were contributed by guest authors. The guest authors whose articles made it to the top 10 are Ben Hookway, Guilhem Ensuque, Dave Neary, Hong Wu and Thucydides Sigs.

Trends
Our blog hosted articles across a vast range of topics, from virtualization to app development and from the Cloud phone to Android. However, our readers’ interest was piqued by articles on Android and everything app-related.

The Top 10+1: Best articles and quotes
Here they are; this year’s 10 best articles, plus the undisputed champion. Apart from a brief description of each article, we’ve included the best quote by the author, but also one comment from the readers. In most cases, we’ve chosen to quote those readers whose viewpoints differed from our own, providing a more neutral perspective.

Although our blog had over 20 thousand visits, a sizable chunk of these went to a single article; our clear winner for 2010,Is Android Evil?

Our article on Android and the debate on its openness, was read by more than 45 thousand people, tweeted almost 950 times and generated an intense debate, with over 55 comments. This article sparked a heated debate, with readers’ reactions ranging from vehement agreement to zealous flaming and even name-calling.

Is Android Evil?

by Andreas Constantinou

Is Android Evil?Inspired by Google’s motto of “don’t be evil”, Andreas examines Android’s openness as a platform and identifies Google’s control points. The main argument of this article is that Android is the most closed system in the history of open source. And no, we’re not suggesting Google’s turned to the ‘dark side’.

What we said
“Android is the best example of how a company can use open source to build up interest and community participation, while running a very tight commercial model.”
What you said
“…Android may not be fully open like Linux. But it is dramatically more open than any other major cell phone OS…” (comment by Jim Philips)

So, without further ado, here are our top 10 articles for 2010.

No 10 – The many faces of Android fragmentation

by Andreas Constantinou
(5 thousand views, 105+ tweets)

The many faces of Android fragmentation,

It’s common knowledge that Google and Android users alike have suffered from the platform’s version fragmentation. But did you know about the codebase and profile fragmentation? Andreas breaks down the three major fragmentation dimensions and discusses their impact on the platform’s success.

What we said
“For Google’s Android team, fragmentation is what keeps them up at night. Fragmentation reduces the addressable market of applications, increases the cost of development and could ultimately break the developer story around Android as we ‘ll see.”
What you said
“…Unless an OEM puts their hands around Android and creates their own software platform structured and controlled the way Apple controls iOS, the Android world will look exactly like the J2ME world in two years time…” (comment by Mike Grant)

No 9 – How to save Nokia (from itself)

by Thucydides Sigs
(5 thousand views, 85+ tweets)

How to save Nokia (from itself)

For many years now, Nokia has been sitting comfortably in the no1 position of both the feature and smart phone markets. But times are changing and Nokia’s share is shrinking. Thucydides examines Nokia’s position and raises the issue of business culture.

Also, don’t miss our readers’ weeklong debate on Nokia’s future, in the article’s comment section.

What we said
“Nokia has known where it wanted and needed to go. But the problem has been and still is the execution. The Finnish giant just fails to move and adapt fast enough to the chaotic, rapidly evolving software and internet market.What is holding the execution back? More than anything, it’s the company’s culture”
What you said
“…The new key to market share is the couple Platform-Ecosystem, not the handset portfolio diversity, the design or the platform quality by itself (WebOs is here to demonstrate). The Nokia mobile application/developer ecosystem is suffering (on one hand is too tricky to develop on Symbian, and the OVI store is not as good and commercially mature as Android and IPhone Markets)…” (comment by Simone Cicero)

No 8 – Apps is the new Web: sowing the seeds for Web 3.0

by Andreas Constantinou
(6 thousand views, 280 tweets)

VisionMobile - Apps is the new web

With the phenomenal success of mobile apps, the world of content is migrating from web 2.0 to apps as the new format for creating, packaging, discovering, paying and interacting with information. Andreas analyses how apps are the evolution of Web 2.0 and where this phenomenon will lead us next.

What we said
“Once web technologies are consistently adopted in 3-5 years we should see web move from today’s lowest common denominator to powering the next-generation of apps across connected devices, from toys to TVs and from web pages to apps – and the browsing (exploratory, lowest-common-denominator) experience moving to resemble an app (getting things done, immersive) experience.”
What you said
“..The web is accessible from any internet-connected device, regardless of brand of the device, of opinion the app-store owner has of you and your app, and of the device and (mostly) location of the device.
The web would never be what is is today if it was controlled by one company or government (like apps are in the apple app store)…” (comment by Yves)

No 7 – Windows Phone 7: Tipping the Scales of the Smartphone Market

by Michael Vakulenko
(6.5 thousand views, 130 tweets)

Windows Phone 7: Tipping the scales of the smartphone market

Although Symbian still has the biggest market share in the smartphone market, it’s being pressed hard by Android and iPhone. Windows Mobile had all but faded into irrelevance, but it’s back with an all-new platform. Is it enough to tip the scales and claim its piece of the pie?

What we said
“If successful, Windows Phone 7 will catalyze further shifts in the mobile industry bringing PC-style commoditization and increasing distance between operators and their subscribers. Microsoft and low-cost, PC style ‘assemblers’ will be the main winners driving smartphone price declines.”
What you said
“…This is a chicken-and-egg scenario, since the success of WP7 actually depends on being able to commoditize the market. Microsoft’s strength really lies in coming from behind and comoditizing somebody else’s innovation…” (comment by Jay)

No 6 – Waking the Dragon: The Rise of Android in China

by Hong Wu
(8 thousand views, 155+ tweets)

The Rise of Android in China

There’s no question that Android has a stellar rise in shipments and developer mindshare. But what about China, the country with the biggest mobile user base?

What we said
“The Android ecosystem in China is still a sleeping dragon, but is waking up day by day. There will be more ad networks, more app stores, and more payment gateways coming out in the foreseeable future before consolidation moves in.”
What you said
“…I do believe strongly that if you’re right in terms of the way Android is picking up in China, there would be no reason for them
to expand out to other markets at all, even India and other developing countries…” (comment by Krshna)

No 5 – [Infographic] The Mobile Developer Journey

by Matos Kapetanakis
(9 thousand views, 260 tweets)

[Infographic] - The Mobile Developer Journey

Although not an article, we’ve included our infographic, as it’s become a reader favorite. The “Mobile Developer Journey” infographic is based on our Developer Economics report, tracking the developer experience, from app design and platform selection to market delivery and monetization.

What you said
“Nice representation of some of the key points for mobile dev>”
Tweet by @DavidBod

“Awesome infografic on mobile platforms & development”
Tweet by @Marcovena

“If you want to see what it takes to build a mobile app”
Tweet by @MarksPhone

“Great new infographic from VisionMobile for mobile app development”
Tweet by @AppsArabia

No 4 – The MeeGo Progress Report: A+ or D-?

by Dave Neary
(9.5 thousand views, 85+ tweets)

VisionMobile - The MeeGo progress report

MeeGo has been in the pipeline for quite some time now, but we’ve yet to see any devices. Dave takes a look at the project’s progress and reports on MeeGo’s chances against smartphone OS giants, like iPhone and Android.

What we said
“…to succeed as a platform, the application developer story and the user experience are vital. There is a lot of work to be done in these areas for MeeGo to gain serious traction outside of the small community of Finnish handset designers. Nokia still has a long way to go”
What you said
“…MeeGo looks like a fig leaf for failed software strategy of two hardware giants – Nokia and Intel. Moreover, it was conceived to solve yesterday problems. By the time it will reach consumers, the market will advance two phases and pose very different challenges…” (comment by Michael Vakulenko)

No 3 – The Flash vs. HTML5 endgame

by Guilhem Ensuque
(11 thousand views, 170+ tweets)

The Flash vs. HTML5 Endgame

Adobe’s Flash platform is feeling the pressure, as more vendors choose HTML5 over it. But is there really a war going on? Guilhem makes an in-depth analysis into the history of each contender to the throne and looks at the pros and cons of each.

What we said
“Flash is far from dead today. There are many cases in which Flash will continue to offer a better alternative (worst case a very useful fallback) to “HTML5” technologies due to the fragmentation in new web standards browser support.”
What you said
“…I think both technologies can coexist. And more than that, they should join, mix. Why not integrate Flash into the HTML5 specification? I’ve always thought that the best way is to add a tag called ‘flash’ or ‘ria’ where there is SWF content. It would be like the canvas tag, but would also be able to resize…” (comment by Manuel Ignacio López Quintero)

No 2 – The Android UI dilemma: Unify or Differentiate?

by Ben Hookway
(12 thousand views, 230+ tweets)

The Android UI dilemma - unify or differentiate?

Android’s fast becoming a handset manufacturer and operator/carrier favorite, largely due to its custom ROMs and customised UI. But Google is sure to pay a price, as user experience becomes more and more fragmented. What should Google do?

What we said
“The economic model of handset OEMs necessitates UI differentiation and Google is taking that away. For Google to expect Apple-like control on a fundamentally different business model is just unrealistic”
What you said
“…I think Android should remain open, let OEM customize whatever they want, as long as there is a Vanilla Home Replacement available for free in the Google Marketplace, all users should easily be able to remove the custom UI on any Gingerbread phone and “reset” it exactly to the default Android UI designs.” (comment by Charbax)

No 1 – Developer Economics 2010: The migration of developer mindshare

by Andreas Constantinou
(19 thousand views, 320+ Tweets)

Developer Economics - Migration of mindshare

This article is the first of a 4-part series, analyzing the findings of our global research report, Developer Economics 2010 (free copy here), on all aspects of mobile development. The article examines the recent migration of developer mindshare from the ‘old guard’ platforms (Java and Symbian) to the ‘new guard’ (iPhone and Android.

What we said
“In terms of developer mindshare, our research shows that Symbian and Java ME, which dominated the developer mindshare pool until 2008, have been superceded by the Android and iPhone platforms.”
What you said
“…I don’t think any more proprietary platforms will be successful. Apple has taken that mantle. I think only open platforms have any chance of competing. MeeGo, for example, is starting to get a good amount of momentum…” (comment by Francis Sepparton)

Happy Holiday Season!
There you have it, these were the top articles in the VisionMobile blog for 2010, as determined by our readers. I hope you enjoyed this collection of articles.

Is there an article you particularly enjoyed and feel should have been included? What would you like to see next?

Leave a comment and let us know. You can also follow us on Twitter (@visionmobile) or send me an email directly (matos at visionmobile.com).

Happy Holidays to all! Don’t forget to tune in on January 3, for the first article of 2011.


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