I found the conclusions based on these numbers quite amusing. Anyone else spot the flaw in the logic that because folks on DeviceAnywhere spend more time testing on the Razr that means that developers are focusing their efforts more on the Razr then the iPhone? That’s not quite the conclusion I draw.
The tricky thing about “the Razr” is that it’s not one phone at all. Spend any time poking around with the phone on different carriers and you’ll find that every carrier and every minor release has different properties. Some carriers have chosen to include some options, others not, others have tweaked them slightly to make them fit into the guidelines for device behavior, etc. It’s a developer nightmare, cause you never know what to expect. And on such a constrained platform to begin with, things like available memory can be severely impacted by the carriers desire to do something as simple as swap out the images being used on the home screen.
On the other hand you have the iPhone. Write an app for the iPhone, it runs on the iPhone. Done.
Now imagine you’re an engineering manager looking at the amount of money you spend to support your application. The global economy is such that most folks are looking to cut costs, so to be responsible you’re trawling though your numbers. What’s your spreadsheet going to have when you look at your porting efforts? The number of users you have on a platform and the cost to maintain the port to that platform. What you’re going to be looking for are platforms where the dollar-per-user cost is high and/or increasing. The iPhone is linear, it costs X dollars to port to iPhone no matter how many users you have. However with the Razr you keep throwing more and more developer and QA time at issues because you need to hit every little variant of the firmware with it’s unique quirks. As your user base grows, the cost of supporting the Razr grows. And in my experience, most applications (social networking and casual games aside) probably don’t really see that many more Razr users then iPhone users despite it having vastly larger distribution numbers.
My take-away from the DeviceAnywhere numbers is “Razr incurring dangerously high engineer and QA costs, if the iPhone base keeps growing existing handsets are in danger of getting dropped.” It’s a funny thing trying to interpret numbers. Assuming that time spent testing for a device means that a business really desires representation on that device is a mistake.