Venture-backed app developers remaining OS agnostic

Although venture capitalists have invested more than $100 million in iPhone-oriented startups in the two years since Apple released the first version of its now-iconic smartphone, most venture-backed mobile developers are still creating applications optimized for multiple platforms, according to a new study issued by startup and investor information resource ChubbyBrain. Defining "multi-platform" as apps targeting at least two of the big six mobile operating systems--i.e., Symbian, iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android, BlackBerry and Palm--ChubbyBrain reports that just 33 percent of 2009's venture-backed mobile app startups are developing software that runs exclusively across one OS. Among firms targeting more than one mobile OS, 76 percent are developing their applications to work across all six of the major platforms--3 percent are targeting five platforms, 9 percent are looking at three platforms, and 12 percent are writing for two platforms. The study adds that while firms developing for fewer than all six demonstrated no strong patterns, there was some coupling of BlackBerry and iPhone among developers building on just two platforms.

As for developers focusing solely on one platform, the iPhone dominates, attracting 49 percent of all VC-backed startups. BlackBerry follows in second with 20 percent, trailed by Windows Mobile (15 percent), Symbian (8 percent), Android (5 percent) and Palm (3 percent).

For more on the ChubbyBrain research:
- read this blog entry

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