updated 12:10 pm EST, Thu November 25, 2010
Windows Phone 7 apps more competitive with iPhone
Windows Phone 7's early app market is much more competitive with the iPhone and other platforms than Windows Mobile, Distimo found in its latest study. The average price of any paid WP7 app is now the cheapest of all the stores at about $1.95, or double the $4 for iPhone apps. Microsoft's one-time attempt at pushing premium apps is still evident at the older Windows Marketplace for Mobile, where the average app is three times more expensive at $6.27.
Over three quarters of paid apps for WP7 are below $2, the findings also showed, while about two thirds of iPhone apps were below the mark. No other store had more than 71 percent at the bargain prices, while BlackBerry and Windows Mobile were the most likely to have comparatively expensive apps, especially over $5.
The influence of games has also now spread to the new mobile OS, where they're much more popular than on Windows Mobile hardware that frequently can't play more complex games. All of the top 10 WP7 paid apps were games like Bejeweled and The Harvest, mirroring Apple's tendency to thrive on games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. Free apps were mostly utilities and often dominated by Microsoft's own tools.
Microsoft's decision to steer away from its past insistence on high-priced and frequently business-focused apps had benefits, Distimo said. As of Monday, Windows Marketplace had 2,674 apps, virtually double what it had a month ago at the European WP7 launch. The increase was virtually equal to the entire Windows Marketplace for Mobile base, which took a year to get to 1,350 apps. Windows Phone's app platform has grown about 12 times faster than its counterpart, according to the study, suggesting much more growth than in the past.
The growth rate hasn't slowed so far, as Microsoft just today said it had reached 3,000 apps in the three days since.