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Which OS Should You Develop for in 2013?

With the recent earnings reports from Apple and Samsung now out in the open, one thing has become fairly clear. There is a lot more competition in the handset market than many people thought there would be.

Yes, Apple and Samsung both had solid quarters that showed a sales increase of 18 and 19 percent respectively, but that doesn’t mean that they can keep that upward trend in the coming year. Growth rates weren’t as high as expected and the iPhones sales were a bit short. So what does that mean for the future of OS development?

Cheaper Might Be Better

The expectation for true growth in the future appears to be markets in emerging countries. Apple and Samsung should still hold 50 percent of the market throughout the year. With hot new items set to come out they should be able to keep a strong hold on the American and European markets. However those newer markets in emerging countries will be a place where some of the less expensive brands will thrive!

China is a fast growing region but should be a bigger market for the mid to low priced options. Basically that pushes Apple to the side and means cheaper devices will get snatched up first. ZTE and Huawei are two brands that could easily become hot sellers in China or other emerging areas. Both of these phones run an Android OS.

Then for the tablet set, more competition is expected as well. Again price point will be an important aspect as new growth will be linked to inexpensive products in areas where they just can’t afford the high end electronics as easily.

Pick the Biggest Pool

So if you are looking to develop apps this year what is the better focus, Apple OS or the Android? The mobile and tablet war has generally been about these two players. Windows Mobile is a bit of a dark horse and should see some growth, but really it is a two-OS race at this point. Heck, poor Blackberry doesn’t even get to the table anymore.

On one side you have Apple with a fanatical base of users. On the other side we have Android which is pushing its popularity as the leading smartphone OS. With the expectation of growth in emerging markets combined with the fact that the phones and tablets expected to spike in growth use Android, it seems like a no brainer to start fishing in the Android pool first.

It is hard to say that one platform is really superior over the other anymore. They each have things that users love and dislike. But if you are a developer and looking to make apps with mass appeal, the biggest mass out there should be the Android by the end of 2013. Plus Apple has a tighter hold on distribution of said apps while Android uses multiple distribution outlets.

The bottom line is that Android looks poised to become the big OS player this year. So if you are looking to develop to the widest audience possible with what you develop, they seem to be the clear winner for the year.

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