Given that mobile development is the hottest thing right now, the trends are important, and at some points difficult to read. The terms included in this list were iPhone, Android, WP7 or “Windows Phone“, BlackBerry, Symbian, WebOS and PhoneGap. There is some noise in the data, but not enough to significantly affect the trends.
First, let’s look at the basic job trends from Indeed:
In the past 9 months or so, it looks like Android demand has overtaken iPhone demand. I found this quite surprising, regardless of how the trends were moving, so I did a little more digging. Adding the iPad demand to the iPhone demand did not change the trend much at all. Adding iOS to the trend line changed everything, with the orange line following the same trend as the Android trend, but about 50% higher. I may need to include the iPad and iOS demand with the iPhone in the next update. You can see that Blackberry is in the midst of a solid decline, with its peak back around December 2010. Symbian does not look to have grown, and is in a slight decline as well. Windows Phone is slowly growing, along with PhoneGap. WebOS is already in a steady decline and may not exist much longer than 2012, based on the news we all keep hearing.
Now, let’s take a look at the short-term trends from SimplyHired:
Interestingly, the short-term trends look almost nothing like the Indeed trends. The iPhone was along the same trend as Android until July 2011 when it started a dramatic rise. Android is gaining nicely, with the Blackberry trend being flat. The others are clustered at the bottom with only the Symbian decline being obvious. Oddly, you really cannot see any demand for Windows Phone or PhoneGap, which is much different than the Indeed trends.
Lastly, we take a look at my favorite graph, the relative scaling from Indeed, which shows trends based on job growth:
Obviously, this graph is difficult to read due to the flattening caused by the iPhone trend, and generally makes it useless. So, what does it look like without the iPhone?
Now that is a little more interesting. We know that iPhone demand, as well as iPad and iOS, is continuing to grow like a weed, but removing it from the graph shows some interesting information. WebOS had a great peak around February 2011, and looks to be quickly descending. Android and Windows Phone are showing solid growth, and look like they could be solid contenders. PhoneGap is showing strong growth, especially when you consider that it is not operating system specific. The benefit of PhoneGap growth is that people can more easily develop for different platforms, and more adoption means more apps on both iPhone and Android. Blackberry and Symbian barely register on this graph, which basically means they are losing the mobile battle.
Obviously, iPhone and iOS development is still showing strong demand, but Android really is a solid competitor. Windows Phone is also showing some interesting signs, though I would still focus on iPhone development and Android development. The PhoneGap growth is definitely something to watch over the next year as well. The other contenders should be watched but for different reasons. Blackberry, WebOS and Symbian are all showing very negative signs which means developers are not targeting these platforms.