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.