Developers have reservations about HTML5 in a number of key areas, a survey from Appcelerator and IDC revealed.

According to the poll, the technology is lacking in key areas such as monetisation (83.4 percent neutral to dissatisfied), security (81.8 percent), fragmentation (75.4 percent) and performance (72.4 percent).

But in the area where HTML5 is seen as having most to deliver – cross development capabilities – some 83.4 percent of respondents were satisfied.

The survey of more than 5,500 developers found that Apple had “maintained its dominance at the top of developers’ lists for mobile app development” during the quarter, with 85 percent of respondents “very interested” in iOS apps for smartphones, and 83 percent similarly supportive of iPad apps.

Appcelerator said that while this does represent a slight decline from the previous quarter, a 3 percent deviation is “relatively normal”.

Less positive is a return to declining interest for Android, after an earlier stabilisation. Fewer than 66 percent of developers are interested in tablets powered by the Google OS, with only 76 percent interested in smartphones – despite the platform’s strong performance in the marketplace.

It was noted that the small decrease during the period would not be remarkable were it not for the fact that a drop in developer interest in Android was previously evident.

It was suggested that “Google’s inability to curtail Android’s massive fragmentation, even with Ice Cream Sandwich, has forced developers to focus on the iPad as the leading tablet platform, and on the iPhone first for smartphone apps”.

Among the other platforms, interest in RIM’s BlackBerry fell to an “all time low” both for smartphones (9 percent) and tablets (8 percent).

This is said to be especially dramatic considering that almost 40 percent of mobile developers were very interested in BlackBerry in the January 2011 survey, and highlights that RIM needs “both a compelling experience and massive developer engagement with BlackBerry 10 to stand a chance with mobile developers and return to relevance”.

Microsoft motivation
Appcelerator and IDC said that developers “believe that Windows 8 holds significant promise, but is far from a sure thing”. The ability to share development across desktops and mobile was highlighted as being of interest, which “reflects the continuing issues that developers face in supporting so many platforms, so many interaction mediums, and so many different ways that end users will consume an application”.

While respondents were “cautiously optimistic” that Microsoft will be able to deliver the single development environment it has promised, it was also noted that many have expressed doubts about the company’s “ability to actually deliver on its ambitious promises of a single development environment, single interface medium, and single paradigm for both desktop and tablet/smartphone applications”.

Developers also believe that RIM stands most to lose from successful Windows smartphones, and Apple by successful Windows 8 tablets – although the results were not definitive. It was also suggested that Android could lose out in both markets, including in tablets, where the Google platform is less established.

Apple opportunity
It was noted that developers were “clearly excited” about the opportunity that Apple Maps provides for apps – although the survey was conducted before Maps started receiving its bad reviews – with more than 36 percent stating that this is the feature they are most looking forward to. Appcelerator and IDC advised that, with time, this will mean a smaller audience for Google Maps, as developers shift to supporting the Apple alternative.

Passbook also created “significant interest”, with 15 percent citing this as most interesting. The survey said that developers are looking to engage this secure repository for “all sorts of access and control functions, from within apps”.

While priorities expressed for the evolution of the iPhone included faster processors, LTE connectivity, and larger screens, it was noted that NFC also scored highly, with a variety of use cases mooted.

Social disruption
Developers believe a “mobile first” start-up could disrupt Facebook, with 66 percent stating that it is “likely to very likely” that such a company will impact the market for social apps on devices – taking share from the market leader.

It was observed: “It is not enough to port elements of your existing business model over to mobile. Staying competitive in the era of mobility requires fundamentally re-envisioning traditional business models through a mobile-first lens.”

Broadening device choice
The survey also found that developers predict that by 2015 they will be working with more devices that smartphones and tablets.

Some 83.5 percent say it is “likely to very likely” they will be targeting televisions, following 74 percent who will be targeting connected cars, and 71.2 percent who will be working with games consoles.