Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray did a poll of 100 developers at WWDC last week concerning the difficulty of adjusting apps to new screen sizes. Assuming that Apple is making the next iPhone screen larger and a new smaller iPad, developers stated that they do not foresee it as a major issue and when asked to indicate on a scale of one to ten, the average responses landed somewhere around 3.4 out of 10.
Apple’s newest iPhone is expected to have a 4-inch display with 16-to-9 ratio, which is slightly bigger than previous iPhones with a 3.5-inch screen with a 3-to-2 aspect ratio. This slight size increase allows for a bigger screen while still allowing users to use just one hand.
It has also been reported that Apple plans to release a smaller iPad this fall with a 7.85-inch display. It is rumored to have a 1,024-by-768-pixel display, which would allow applications from the original iPad and the iPad 3 to still function on the smaller screen.
Munster stated, “Given the relative ease expected by developers for utilizing potential new iOS screen sizes, we believe the introduction of new screen sizes would not affect the success or availability of the apps on iOS.”
Munster also found that 55 percent of developers at WWDC already develop for both Apple’s iOS and Google Android, 14 percent develop for Windows Phone, and 9 percent create applications for Research in Motion’s Blackberry platform. Last year, 47 percent of iOS developers at WWDC also developed for Android. That’s an 8 percent increase in one year, suggesting that iOS developer support for Android is growing. Support for Blackberry is decreasing with 36 percent last year dropping to 9 percent this year.
Of those polled, developers also stated a strong preference for iOS. Of the 55 developers who create applications for iOS as well as Android, 84 percent chose iOS over Android for ease of development.
Developers also said at WWDC that they foresee iOS as having the highest future revenue potential for the applications they develop, as 64 percent see themselves making more money from Apple. Five percent said they see themselves making more money from Android and 31 percent were undecided or chose not to answer the question.
While WWDC is an Apple-centered/Apple-run event, it is clear that the majority of developers who design applications for more than one device are placing their bets on Apple.