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Android handsets are nearly as popular as the iPhone among mobile app developers, according to a new study.

The latest mobile survey from IDC and Appcelerator – the outfit whose Titantium kit lets developers build mobile applications with traditional web tools – indicates that 87 per cent of mobile developers are "very interested" in developing for Android phones, compared to the 92 per cent who show similar interest in the iPhone. Carried out between January 10 and 12, the survey tapped the brains of 2,235 Appcelerator Titanium developers.

Interest in Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 topped out at 36 per cent, but that's an 8 per cent increase since the last IDC-Appcelerator study was released three months ago. Evidently, devs are pleased with the new Windows Phone UI. "Microsoft actually made a reasonably good showing over the holidays," Appcelerator vice president of marketing Scott Schwarzhoff tells The Reg. "We don't have hard [sales] numbers from Microsoft, but the early read from developers is that Microsoft did enough to keep them under consideration, certainly compared to providers like Nokia and Palm."

The new survey also shows growing interest in Android tablets among developers, with 74 per cent saying they were very interested in developing for Android tablets, compared to 87 per cent eyeing the Apple iPad. That's a 12 per cent leap for Android tablets. Since the last study, Samsung released its Galaxy Android tablet, and dozens of other Android tablets were announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Developers, according to the survey, are also showing greater interest in the as-yet-unreleased BlackBerry PlayBook. PlayBook interest nearly doubled, rising from 16 per cent to 28. Interest in the as-yet-nonexistent webOS tablet stayed flat at 16 per cent.

But while survey respondents are showing great interest in smartphones and tablets, they're showing less in new-age connected TV platforms. Interest in Google TV interest dropped 11 per cent to 33, and Apple TV interest dropped 10 per cent to 30. ®

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