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Software engineers skilled in making applications for Google's (GOOG) Android mobile-operating system this week became more sought-after than developers for Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, according to online job board Dice.com.
Employers requested experience or skills with Android in 987 job postings on Dice as of Mar. 1, more than the 970 jobs asking for iPhone expertise, Bloomberg Businessweek.com reported today. The number of available positions mentioning either Android or iPhone surged more than threefold from a year ago, when the site listed 273 Android-related jobs and 312 iPhone-related jobs.
Demand is swelling for Android programmers as Google woos makers of mobile applications to keep up with the growing popularity of its software. Android became the world's best-selling smartphone platform last year, according to researcher Canalys, yet it trails in total number of apps, with more than 120,000 compared with the 350,000 programs in Apple's App Store.
"Any place that's going to hire developers of apps has to have Android as well as iPhone," says Alice Hill, managing director of Dice. "It's just as important, and it's something they have to support."
Employers are snapping up workers with expertise in mobile software at a faster clip, with about 57 percent of companies and recruiters that hired for mobile-related jobs in 2010 planning to boost such hires this year, according to results from a Dice survey released in October. In that survey of 283 recruiters, 72 percent of respondents said they were hiring for development of iPhone applications and 60 percent said they were seeking Android app developers.
Dice searches job postings on its site for the terms "Android" and "iPhone" on the first day of each month to come up with its tally. Tuesday was the first time Android returned more results. The job site didn't include in its total any searches for other Apple products, including the iPad and iPod Touch, or Apple's mobile-operating system iOS.
Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Apple in Cupertino, Calif., declined to comment, as did Randall Sarafa, a spokesman for Google in Mountain View, Calif.