Windows Phone Apps by the Numbers
Microsoft made a bit of a splash during its final Consumer Electronics Show appearance last week. Two state-of-the-art Windows Phones finally got the media's attention – the Nokia Lumia 900, which received the nod for best cell phone of CES from CNET, and the HTC Titan II. Both handsets are designed to support AT&T's 4G LTE network in the United States and are slated for release in the next few months.
Outside of CES, Brandon Watson, senior director for Windows Phone at Microsoft, released some 2011 stats for app developers last week that offered a glimpse into Windows Phone downloads. The data showed 48 app downloads per WP7 user in 2011. Games ranked first as the most popular Windows Phone downloads in 2011, both free (31 percent) and paid (64 percent), followed by Tools and Productivity apps, free (18 percent) and paid (8 percent). More than half of WP7 users (56 percent) had the option to bill Marketplace purchases directly to their wireless service accounts.
Microsoft registered 80,000 Windows Phone developers in 2011, according to Watson. Of the 50,000 apps certified and published in the Windows Phone Marketplace, the Entertainment category ranked first (17 percent) with the highest number of apps, followed by Tools and Productivity (15 percent), Books and Reference (15 percent) and Games (14 percent).
The company didn't, however, share key information such as the actual size of the WP7 market, free downloads versus paid apps, average price per paid app download or any data on the profits that developers made off of their Windows Phone apps.
As the new year begins without any reported bump in Windows Phone sales over the holidays – at least in the United States—the debate about the quantity and quality of Windows Phone apps rages on. Many popular mobile apps and standard services are not available on Windows Phone, which many people argue negatively impacts device sales, including mobile banking apps from major financial institutions, Pandora, and even Skype, which the company acquired. Microsoft is working to address this issue and reportedly expects to have the top 25 apps on the Android and iOS platforms available for Windows Phone in the first half of 2012.
The ultimate market maker may be smart phones that retailers and consumers rank as top tier devices—and Windows 8. As Windows 8 becomes available on x86-based tablets later this year, the Metro interface may peak consumers' interest and Windows Phones stand to benefit.
Express your thoughts on the outlook for Windows Phones in 2012 and your experiences with the Windows Phone Marketplace. Are you developing Windows Phone apps and making a profit? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Kathleen Richards on 01/17/2012 at 12:54 PM