Windows Phone 7 Apps Growing Faster Than Android at Launch
Another Windows Phone 7 anecdote gives us an idea how Windows Phone 7 is performing a month after it launched. An analyst said that the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is growing faster than the Android Market did at launch. Of course, that doesn't mean too much at this point.
The Windows Marketplace reportedly has 4,000 apps in the nearly two months since WP7 launched ; it took the Android Market 5 months to reach that mark.
That's great news for Microsoft, but it's not that great because there's a problem in comparing the two platforms. When Android launched, there wasn't nearly the same level of fervor about app development. Those who were developing apps were doing so exclusively for the iPhone and weren't willing to take a risk on the new Android platform that only launched on a single phone.
By contrast, Windows Phone 7 launched on 10 devices in an era when apps are big business and Android has already proven that non-iPhone apps can be worth a developers time. In fact, we should expect Windows Phone 7 app growth to outpace that of Android's early stages, at least for a while.
Al Hilwa, the analyst with research firm IDC who made the report also made some not-so-bold predictions about future growth of WP7 apps.
"[I] would not be surprised if Microsoft had the third largest app portfolio in the industry by the middle of next year," Hilwa said.
Well, that's not going to be hard to do considering BlackBerry, Nokia, WebOS and Symbian have all been largely ignored by developers so far. iOS and Android are by far the largest app stores, but the spot for number three wouldn't be hard for Microsoft to obtain as long as the company can keep the interest of developers.
As we pointed out in our analysis , Windows Phone 7 still remains attractive for many developers, so for now it appears Hilwa's prediction will come true. But in order to retain developer interest, Microsoft needs to sell a lot more phones to app-hungry consumers, and it remains to be seen if consumers will give up iPhone or Android for Windows Phone 7.
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