Startups Hyperfocus on iOS 7, Send Android To Back Burner.

ios7Last week’s announcement of iOS 7 really shook things up in silicon valley. And it may not be what you think.

Yes, people are excited to get to work on it. But app developers aren’t just putting a fresh face on their existing products. They’re rethinking their apps from the ground up, say a bunch of startups I’ve spoken with. They’re looking at this as a whole new platform, as they should, and they know that first movers have all the advantages.

Most people I’m talking to agree with Marco Arment, who says “iOS 7 is different. It isn’t just a new skin: it introduces entirely new navigational and structural standards far beyond the extent of any previous UI changes.”

So how are startups responding to the news? They’re “tearing up their Q3 product roadmap” and “starting from scratch,” say a few of the startups I spoke to. “There are subtle but profound changes” says one.

Daniel Raffel, Snapguide CEO (a CrunchFund company), says Android likely took a big hit with the announcement of iOS 7. Leading up to WWDC there had never been a better time for developers to invest big in Android. Now that investment is on hold, he says, as teams repriortize resources to develop for the iOS 7 launch.

Another CEO I spoke to off the record today said that he’s leaving his Android client engineers on task (they’ve released both iOS and Android apps), but all UI/UX designers and engineers are focusing 100% on iOS 7.

And another startup founder: “Android is no longer on our 2013 product roadmap.”

And finally, the worst news of all from yet another mobile startup – they’re canceling all summer vacations.

16 thoughts on “Startups Hyperfocus on iOS 7, Send Android To Back Burner.

  1. Steve O'Hear says:

    I guessed as much, but your post confirms my hunch. One concern though is that developers will go “flat” with wildly varying results.

  2. Mike, wtf does this have to do with the NSA or Edward Snowden?

  3. I think it is partly because of Media’s over hype on apple products than the Android ones. Both the critics and people are equally drawn towards any Apple news. I don’t understand why the flexible UI of Android doesn’t seem to impress many.

  4. And another startup founder: “Android is no longer on our 2013 product roadmap.”

    Odd given how many Android devices exist. But hey, Im not a startup founder or a founder of anything so what do I know. Maybe Im reading that the wrong way.

    • ktest098 says:

      “Odd given how many Android devices exist.” Not odd given how many are using them as smart phones.

      I have an Android device. It has a tiny screen, very little memory and is so slow I would never even think about putting any other applications on it (I ended up using it to tether data for my iPhone when traveling because even maps were terribly slow).

      That, along with many, many other dirt cheap Android devices inflate the numbers and hide how many Android devices really mean anything to application developers. The adoption numbers for newer versions of the Android OS tell a much more realistic tale.

  5. So much for Schmidt saying developers will write apps for Android first. It’s the media, it’s the users who aren’t created equal. iOS users are FAR more valuable than Android users, many who use their Android like any old feature phone from from 10 years ago.

  6. Level380 says:

    hahaha what a load of crap. Companies are changing the roadmap cause of a new iOS look? “And another startup founder: “Android is no longer on our 2013 product roadmap.”” Really…. you’re going to do a 180 on your roadmap cause iOS has a new look and ignore the 75% market share of android? Guess when these startups start to go under, I wonder if they will link it to iOS

    • Andrew says:

      It makes sense when a company wants to get acquired more than reaching the widest number of users. Pretty apps impress the idiotic sugar daddy companies these days more than growth it seems.

    • sam says:

      App store sales are higher than Google Play sales. Therefore, iOS is a bigger market than Android. Furthermore, anybody that Arrington is talking to is also going to care a lot about the demographics – each iOS download is worth more, because the users are on average richer.

  7. Basil says:

    I don’t get this. Part of it is cultural, I think- developers and business people tend to think of apple first, but investors should be providing them a little perspective. Android is a far larger market and install base, it’s growing faster, and unless you really can’t do both, you should.

    What does this massive reinvestment in apple’s new firmware buy startups? If I were trying to decide whether to spend developer time on a port to android or a rewrite for ios7, which would make me more money?

    • Amkosh says:

      I totally agree. I find it odd that a VC is actually OK with this. All their doing is just leaving money behind.

    • sam says:

      It’s almost impossible to find good developers, so no, your typical startup can’t “do both.” Even if you don’t believe this it is certainly conventional wisdom in the Valley.

      • Basil says:

        Whatever non-zero number of developers they have will eventually be able to get it onto both.

        Maybe I should start a company that just finds apps that are financially successful on a single platform and writes competitive apps on the platforms they’re too elite to focus on.

  8. This is a very interesting piece that runs counter to what the media is writing. And the crowd has been wrong before. I’d love for Michael to point us to where we can learn about just how iOS is different, and what the new features are that make it so compelling. Betcha there’s something out there somewhere…I’ll be on the lookout. Thanks!

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