After revelations about Government spending on iPhone app development, with costs reaching as much as £40,000, the Cabinet Office has released a statement saying that the spending freeze on all marketing and advertising includes iPhone applications. But outside of this, there’s a bigger question to be asked: why is the government only building iPhone apps?
The statement was delivered to BBC correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, and reads: “The Government recently announced a freeze on all marketing and advertising spend for this year and this includes iPhone applications…future spend on iPhonedevelopment will be subject to strict controls: only essential activity, approved by the Efficiency and Reform Group…will be allowed.”
So iPhone app development will carry on, it’s just going to be ‘strictly controlled’. There is no mention of developing apps for other platforms either, the upshot of which is that there’s a large proportion of the population that can’t access these expensively developed services.
Despite relentless media attention, the iPhone has a much smaller market penetration than other smartphones. It is behind Blackberry, and way behind Nokia’s Symbian OS. Europe wide, Apple has an 18% share of the total smartphone market in the EU5 (U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy) and just 4% of the total EU5 mobile market, with a total of around 10 million devices across Europe, according to Comscore.
The only department to have developed for Android appears to be the DWP Jobcentre Plus, for iPhone and Android. The Department of Health has said that Android apps were never in the works, before the spending freeze, because not enough people were accessing the various health websites from Android devices.