Thursday, November 21, 2013

Still lagging, but doing better: Windows Phone reaches 3 billion app downloads

Microsoft's Windows Phone platform closed the app gap, somewhat, on Wednesday, when versions of both Instagram and Waze (ironically, recently acquired by Google) were released. At the same time, Microsoft released (via TechCrunch) numbers that might provide impetus for develop for the still lagging platform.

According to Redmond, the Windows Phone platform sees about 10 million app transactions daily, or 300 million per month. While those numbers pale compared to Android and iOS, there is a good trend: that value is up from 9 million per day in September and 6.66 million daily in June.

In addition, the company said, 500 new Windows Phone applications are uploaded daily.

Overall, Windows Phone has seen 3 billion application downloads. That sounds large, but not when compared to the over 60 billion downloads that iOS claimed as of October, or the more than 50 billion seen in the Play Store (as of July).

While Windows Phone's ecosystem still trails Android and iOS -- badly -- Microsoft’s Windows Phone head Joe Belfiore tweeted a confident prediction on Wednesday, saying:
We're all gonna look back on the end of 2014 as the ending of the app-gap for Windows Phone. The 3rd ecosystem is decidedly here!
In other words, look to the end of 2014 as to when we can say WP has caught up to its big rivals.

Still, it's more than just how many other apps are in the marketplace that will drive developers to build for WP. While Windows Phone is seeing large percentage growth numbers, since it started with such a small share, overall, it still has a sales problem.

This is particularly true in its home market of the U.S. Nokia -- the biggest WP OEM by far -- was always very popular in Europe, so that is obviously helping Microsoft outside the States, but the platforms lack of popularity in America likely slows developer momentum.

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