Your verification ID is: guDlT7MCuIOFFHSbB3jPFN5QLaQ Big Computing: Android loses developers to iPhone/iPad- Another example of why Pie Charts suck

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Android loses developers to iPhone/iPad- Another example of why Pie Charts suck

Here is another example of the abuse of data and blurring of information by using a misleading chart. Yesterday I stumbled across a Flurry article titled iPad2 and Verizon iPhone Take Some Wind Out of Android's Sail. The article says that although Android's daily activations from 300,00 in December to 500,000 in June the platform lost developer support.  Then up comes the Pie charts for new project starts on the various platforms.

Flurry NewProjectStarts Q1vQ2 2011 resized 600

Oh my god! The sky is falling! That is a 22% decline in Android Development Projects in only 90 days! Right?  The article goes on to explain this decline in Developer support:

Studying the numbers, it’s readily apparent that Android has lost developer support to iOS. Specifically, Android new project starts have dropped from 36% in Q1 to 28% in Q2. Overall, total Flurry iOS and Android new project starts grew from 9,100 in Q1 to 10,200 in Q2.

And there is the disconnect. This 22% drop development in translates into only a 12% drop in the actual number of Android projects started in the month. A Pie Chart is just a bad choice to tell the tale, and seems an odd choice when the only factor to be graphed out is the one number for Android that did not do well compared to the iPhone/iPad, No cute graph comparing Androids 500,000 activations per day versus iPhone/iPad's 325,000 activations per day with Android activations expanding at a higher percentage and actual unit rate. Flurry may be a little fuzzy on the data.

Here are two good blog post explaining the problems with Pie Charts:
How Pie Charts Fail
Three Reason why Pie Charts Suck


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