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Windows Phone app market burgeoning, 39X smaller than iPhone

updated 09:15 pm EST, Tue November 22, 2011

Distimo says WP7 Marketplace still trailing

The Windows Phone Marketplace has grown quickly in its first year, but is still well behind its peers, Distimo said in a look back on Tuesday. Although it was at about 35,000 apps as of October (40,000 in November), its actual download traffic tops just 131,000 apps a day in the top 300 apps. Apple sees over 5.1 million each day, or about 39 times more.

The discovery showed that Windows Phone download traffic was lower relative to its hardware presence. While Microsoft's device share is about 1.5 percent, Apple's tenfold larger iPhone share was disproportionately lower. Including the iPad and iPod touch, both of which don't sell as strongly, wouldn't change the ratio.

Microsoft was also gradually losing its bias towards paid apps. It had started at 70 percent paid, albeit with a small number of apps, but now sees the majority of apps as free. About 1,300 new paid apps show every month on average, but 1,650 free apps have shown in the same space. About 80 percent of paid app downloads came from the US, too, and meant that only a tenth of the entire Windows Phone Marketplace, 4,000, was making developers any money.

Regional access was a problem. The launch of Windows Phone 7.5 kicked up the total number of countries offering Windows Phone to 33; 47 percent of apps were only available in the original 17 countries, Distimo said. Only 31.5 percent of apps were available in all countries.

Microsoft has been taking steps to boost support, including in-app purchases and giving developers more access to hardware and the home screen. Current results suggest that, at least until Nokia becomes a factor in overall platform share, Windows Phone Marketplace will stay small.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Scott_R

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Times less?

    Something can't be "x times smaller" than another thing, only larger--that's what multiplication means. See

  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Does it matter

    The point is that Microsoft's W7P is now getting to the critical point where there are enough apps that W7P is now somewhat competitive on that front. There are a lot of iPhone apps I use that are simply not available on the other platforms, but the major apps are there, and that should be enough to satisfy most people.

    The problem is that Windows Phone is way behind in terms of numbers where Android and iOS are. This means that people know others who have iOS or Android devices. They can talk to them. With the iPhone and iPad, there's an entire ecosystem for support. W7P doesn't have that -- yet.

    Still, W7P could come out from behind depending what happens with Google and Android.

    Things are not all peachy in AndroidLand. There is a major problem of malware that's starting to affect Android, Android support issues (buying a phone and having it unsupported only a few months later), and Google buying Motorola which makes the other manufacturers nervous. Google is taking some steps (they are tightening up the Android Marketplace and 4.0 promises to be more tightly controlled than earlier Android versions).

    However, Microsoft has a chance to woo away from Android the other manufacturers who might be upset with Google's purchase of Motorola, and the W7P platform is much more secure with better update potential than Android. If Microsoft plays its cards right (and that's a big "if" with Balmer) and Google flubs it, W7P has the potential to become quite competitive.

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