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How Many Mobile App Developers Are There in the World?

Even though Apple and Windows are strong names when it comes to operating systems and mobile app development, both lag behind the widespread adoption of Android in the world. 

This functional smartphone platform owned by Google, powers around 75% of all smartphones and tablets, making Android the most used OS in the world.

When Android first launched in 2008, it was hard to imagine the boom and impact it would have on the smart devices world; but Android surprised us all when its market share snowballed from under 5% in 2010 and surpassed Apple in 2012, managing to stay far above ever since. As of 2021, the Android operating system has a market share of 24.46% solely in the US and a 72.19% market share worldwide.

Android’s OS ecosystem is one of the most diverse speaking of partners, with a considerable number of manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Nokia, and Sony, among others. Therefore, it is not surprising that the number of Android apps beat those on the Apple app store by almost a million. In addition, android stats report that there are 3.4 million apps available at Google’s Play Store. 

We can’t deny it; Android has come a long way since it launched in 2008. Therefore, in order to succeed within the app development world, it is crucial to know how many app developers are there in the world covering the market demand. 

So, how many android app developers are there?

Number of app developers

As of 2021, there were 26.9 million software developers worldwide, and the quantity is expected to grow, with a forecast growth to 27.7 million in 2023 and 28.7 million in 2024. According to Statista, in 2019, the number of software developers in the world grew to 23,9 million, while in 2018, there were only 23 million programmers. The USA is taking the lead position worldwide with 4,3 million software developers.

According to Zippia, from these 4,3 million software developers, the total number of mobile app developers employed in the US is arround 4,052.

According to mobile applications developers, the most recent estimates we have are from 2019, with 26.4 million app developers globally, of which around 6 million develop solely for Android, and 2.8 million focused on iOS.

App developer demographics

It’s clear that there is a huge number of app developers worldwide, but where are they based? What is their age range, gender and ethnicity? Knowing the demographics of mobile app developers is crucial to fully understand the app development industry, its forecast and where to search for the right talent.

Even though the U.S. leads the continent's numbers with 4,4 million software developers, North America us not the only region to look at. As of 201, Europe reached 5,5 million software developers, with Germany leading the largest number of software developers - around 901K, and the UK and France following in second and third place reaching 849K and 533K respectively.  

On that note, the software developers population is also growing in Eastern Europe, with countries like Ukraine and Romania moving forward in the tech industry and positioning as popular outsourcing destinations, due to their broad talent pool and cost-effective salaries. For example, Ukraine is the 2nd largest talent pool of software developers in Eastern Europe with over 200,000 IT professionals, and this number is expected to grow.

Another region to look at when talking about mobile app development is India. The mobile app market in India is one of the fastest growing in the world, and if we also consider the country’s great resources, it’s not surprising that often companies from all over the world look to cover their mobile app requirements. According to GitHub, there are approximately 5.8 million developers in India.

The Latinamerican app development industry doesn’t fall short with an average of over 500,000 software developers in Brazil and more than 100,000 software engineers graduating from Mexico’s universities every year, making the Mexican software development market to encompass no less than 1 million developers.

Android developers Vs. iOS developers

As of 2020, there were 5,9 million Android developers and 2,8 million iOS developers in the world. No wonder why as of the first quarter of 2021, there were 3.48 million Android apps, making Google Play the app store with the biggest number of available apps and 2.22 million available apps for iOS, making the Apple App Store the second-largest app store out there.

But… what exactly do an Android Developer and an iOS developer do?

Android Developers

An android developer designs software and applications for Android devices and the Google Play Store. These software developers create apps used on Android phones and tablets. Android Developers can either work in-house, or they can be employed by a custom software development agency.

As any type of developers, Android app developers must be highly technical and have proficiency in coding and programming languages such as Java and Kotlin. Android Developers also have to be up-to-date when it comes to tech and mobile trends in order to make the best apps.

The role of an Android Developer is a skilled, entry-level position and employers usually require a bachelor’s degree in software development or a related field, however, it is not common for them to require previous work experience as an Android Developer.

iOS developers

As stated in the title, an iOS developer is in charge of developing applications for mobile devices powered by Apple’s iOS operating system. As with Android app developers, it’s crucial for an  iOS developer to be proficient with one of the two programming languages for this platform: Objective-C or Swift. 

They must also have a strong understanding of the patterns and practices concerning iOS platforms. An iOS app developer’s job isn’t done once an application is finished, they are also responsible for troubleshooting bugs that arise within the app. Also, an iOS developer must be a team player who can work with multiple departments to be able to create the best possible app.

As important as the technical skills, iOS app developers must be experts in Mobile user experience (UX) in order to deliver the best positive experiences to all Apple users. Also, its fundamental for them to understand Apple’s design principles and interface guidelines.

Mobile app developer statistics

No matter if you lean more towards Android or iOS, the key takeaway is that today, the usage of smartphones is continuously increasing, making almost everyone have a smartphone, and its usage is also increasing, making the app development industry crucial in our modern world. Here are some interesting facts and figures about mobile app developers:

Gender

Even though we the world strives for gender equality, we are still a little far from it within the software development sector. According to Zippia, 17.6% of all mobile app developers are women, while 71.2% are men. Plus, unfortunately as of 2021, women developers earned an average of 93% of what men earned, that is 93¢ for every $1.

Age

The average age of mobile applications developers is 39 years old. However, when we look at the ages of mobile app developers in general, 40+ years old employees represent the highest of the population. If we break it down in three categories, developers between 20 and 30 years old represent the 18%, 30-40 years old the 36% and 40+ years old a solid 46%.

Ethnicity

Finally, the most common ethnicity of mobile app developers worldwide is White (56.3%), followed by Asian (28.9%) and Hispanic or Latino (7.0%). However, according to wages, Asian mobile app developers have the highest average salary compared to other ethnicities (101,124 usd) and Black or African American have the lowest average salary at $89,290.

Final thoughts

According to research, in 2022, the number of smartphone users in the world is around 6.648 Billion, which means that 83.89% of the world’s population owns a smartphone. Plus, the average mobile user in the USA spends about 3 hours 54 minutes on mobile devices per day, as recorded in 2021. 

Also in 2020, more than 218 billion apps have been downloaded by users worldwide compared to 204 billion in 2019. People have been downloading more apps every following year for the past decade, and the rates are not showing any sign of slowing down. On that note, AppStore alone features up to 2 million applications for the users to download. Google Play has a whopping 3,4 million apps. Such a gap between the two major app stores might be due to AppStore’s strict policies regarding the application that can be featured in the store. 

With people spending daily more time on their phones and the projected growth of billions of smartphone users,  the forecast and statistics on the app development industry are mind-blowing. Therefore, the market is already in demand of highly talented mobile app developers to build Android and iOS apps for the general public.

Naturally, the development of an application should be focused on succeeding by producing a real impact and engaging thousands of users.

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