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Mobile app developers are choosing to develop apps for the Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) over Google’s Android mobile operating system, according to a new report by analytics firm Flurry.
About 73 percent of apps created for the fourth quarter are based on iOS, compared with 27 percent for Android. Three quarters ago, the figures were 63 percent iOS and 37 percent Android.
Over 2011, developer support for Android has declined from a third of titles to a quarter of them.
That runs counter to the notion, recently declared by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt at the LeWeb conference in France, that Android is running ahead of the iPhone.
Flurry tracks developer support across the platforms. Because developers set up analytics several weeks before they launch titles, Flurry has insight into all of the apps coming up. More than 55,000 companies use Flurry analytics on 135,000 apps. During 2011, developers set up analytics for 50,000 apps. Flurry used estimates for the remainder of December.
There is no doubt that Google has been gaining in the smartphone market. About 46.3 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers use Android, compared to 28.1 percent for Apple in the three months ended in October, according to comScore.
Google said that Android Market app downloads hit one billion per month, but Apple said that iOS downloads surpassed 18 billion in October.
Apple expanded distribution for iOS devices to Verizon in February and Sprint in October. The launches of the iPad 2 in February and the iPhone 4S in October resulted in increased developer support for Apple.