Originally Posted by cynic
I disagree about such analyst numbers impacting any kind of content provider or developer decisions whatsoever. These people are not that stupid and actually know their own ecosystems, as well as competing ones extremely well and arguably much better than your random shareholder.
Therefore, what these kinds of people actually look at is revenue and usage share. And that's where Android has traditionally fallen flat and still does. It could have 99% market share, heck it has been at around 80% worldwide for over a year now and guess what: developers still make multiple times the amount of money on iOS and some content providers such as the BBC report triple the interaction through iOS devices than through Android devices.
I've been working as a content provider or developer since 1995. In every company I've worked at, these numbers, specifically from IDC or similar reporting companies, have always come up and been used in debates based on what platforms we should support, be it computers, phones, cable systems, networks, etc...
Currently, I'm in a content provider position making decisions on what platforms to support for a Fortune 100 company, although we also develop some apps, the majority of my job is focused on content right now.
As such, I do look at our own internal numbers. Yes, Android is down far below iOS in consumption of our content, but growing. Likewise Windows Phone is even further down below iOS and too small to show significant growth or decline yet. However, when those I work with see reports like this from IDC (and others), the inevitable question becomes, "How do we know we wouldn't see higher numbers internally for Android if we shifted focus to what these companies are telling us is a much larger market?"
If you read my comment again, you'll see I emphasized that reports like these are one criteria that is used.
Take a closer look at the BBC... why do you think they've recently built up their team of Android developers to triple the number of iOS developers? Fragmentation is one obvious answer as to why they need to have so many developers to match feature parity of iOS, but in terms of incentive for the investment of resources, the answer is because they believe they can change the ratio of Android to iOS BBC users based on reports like those from the IDC.
People believe in what's real and not some arbitrary numbers pulled out of nowhere based on some questionable metric.
Well, why don't you just say the IDC has poopy pants? I can't argue against something so irrational. I can only point out the history of IDC's reports and the accuracy based on comparisons to reports by others as well as when verified by companies in the reports themselves.
If you have some facts to point out the invalidity of IDC reports, by all means present them and what you believe the true numbers to be.