Just How Accurate Was That Flurry Report?
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com
Ahead of last week’s WWDC activities and WWDC Keynote, analytics firm Flurry released a very interesting set of statistics.
Think back with me, if you will, all the way to last week. Last Monday, anticipation for all things Apple were at a feverish pitch as several rumor sites had us believing we’d see a slew of new Macs as well as other glorious Apple achievements. They weren’t all that far off, as it turns out.
The Flurry report came in the midst of this excitement, just days before the opening day of the conference, and announced 7 out of 10 mobile apps are developed for iOS. A very impressive number, to be sure. This report no doubt validated those already proud iOS developers as they made their way to the West Coast for their annual gathering.
Flurry analytics are used by app developers on both platforms to determine how many people are downloading their apps, running their apps, and determine how long these users have their apps open. According to their report, more than 1.2 billion “anonymous, aggregated end user sessions” are tracked and collected every day. By studying data collected from more than 70,000 companies across more than 185,000 apps, the report shows a heavy developer preference towards iOS.
“While Google made some gains in Q1 2012, edging up to over 30% for the first time in a year, we believe this is largely due to seasonality, as Apple traditionally experiences a spike in developer support leading up to the holiday season. Apple’s business has more observable seasonality,” writes Peter Farago in the Flurry Blog.
The blog also noted Apple’s iPad dominance in the tablet market, saying they have 88% distribution of all user sessions between the top three tablets.
The Flurry report showed Apple and their developers flying high above the competition. Of course, not everyone agreed, and some even set about to knock some wind out of their collective sails and bring them back to Earth.
One of these realists is Ed Burnette of ZDnet.com.
He says Flurry used “dubious data to draw unsupportable conclusions.”
Burnette first points out that Flurry is only used by 6.58% of apps in Android’s app market. If 6.58% of Android apps and 25% of iOS apps use Flurry, Burnette was able to turn some quick mathematics and show that 91,000 Android app projects are actually started every quarter compared to Apple’s 52,000.
The Flurry report also chastises Android for its notorious fragmentation. Burnette points out that the Flurry report counts the Samsung Galaxy S II three times, making the fragmentation look only slightly worse than it really is.
Burnette also takes issue with Flurry’s statement that Android developers have to support each device individually. According to Burnette, Android developers only have to support 10 to 15 different devices as opposed to Apple’s 3 devices.
As Burnette points out, Flurry may have given Apple’s iOS a little too much praise. Though the Flurry report may be flawed, it’s still hard to separate Apple from their acclaim.