CyberAgent Inc., maker of Japan’s most popular blogging service, plans to step up software development for Apple Inc.’s iPhone should KDDI Corp. or other carriers begin selling the handset here.
The Tokyo-based company had planned to shift to making more apps for Google Inc.’s Android operating system because they are easier to design and sales of devices that run Android are expected to rise, CyberAgent President Susumu Fujita said in an interview in Tokyo last week.
“We will put more effort into developing our applications for iPhone if KDDI starts selling the smartphone,” Fujita said. “I believe Android-based handset sales will increase, but things may change.”
CyberAgent, operator of the Ameba blogging service and the social game Pigg Life, offered 62 apps for the iPhone, about 70 percent of its offerings for smartphones as of September, while apps for Android make up most of the rest, according to the company.
KDDI reportedly plans to make the iPhone 5 available as early as November, meaning that Softbank Corp. will no longer be the only mobile operator to sell the iPhone in Japan.
Applications for Android are easier to make than for Apple’s iOS because iPhone apps “require much longer processes to complete,” Fujita said.
The iPhone accounted for 50 percent of smartphones used in Japan as of March 31, according to MM Research Institute. The researcher estimates Android-based handsets will account for more than 70 percent after the 2011 fiscal year if Softbank remains the sole iPhone seller here.
CyberAgent generated ¥1.7 billion in revenue from social applications in the three months ended June 30. The blog service operator has 17 million users in Japan and 4 million overseas.
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