Appcelerator: Developers hot for Kindle Fire, Windows Phone

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Mobile application developers express significant interest in writing for Amazon.com's Android-powered Kindle Fire tablet and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone operating system, but enthusiasm for Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry continues to erode, according to cross-platform development platform Appcelerator's Q4 Mobile Developer Report.

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Forty-nine percent of North American developers are very interested in creating apps for the Kindle Fire, only 4 percentage points behind Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad prior to its April 2010 launch, Appcelerator reports. Surveyed among 15 Android tablets, the Kindle Fire ranks second in terms of developer interest, behind only the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Developers cite price as the most critical factor for any Android tablet to compete successfully with the iPad; they also credit Amazon's content ecosystem, its Appstore for Android storefront, target demographic and e-commerce integration for fueling interest in the Kindle Fire, which sells for $199. Fragmentation and the absence of features like camera and geo-location are the major inhibitors limiting developer interest in the Kindle Fire.

Only 21 percent of developer respondents express strong interest in creating apps for BlackBerry OS smartphones, down 7 percentage points quarter-over-quarter. Enthusiasm for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is also on the skids, dropping 6 points to 13 percent. At the same time, Windows Phone continues to build interest, with 38 percent of respondents indicating strong interest in the platform--a quarterly increase of 8 percentage points, and Microsoft's best-ever showing in the Appcelerator survey.

Apple's iOS remains atop the Appcelerator survey, with 91 percent of respondents stating they are "very interested" in writing for the iPhone, followed by the iPad at 88 percent. Overall interest in smartphones running Android fell nearly 4 percentage points to 83 percent, while tablets slipped almost 6 percentage points to 68 percent. Appcelerator credits the drop to excitement around the release of Apple's iOS 5 update, which developers cited as the most significant announcement of the past quarter.

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