The real question will this be the trend going forward?
Microsoft Corp. has announced that 50 thousand of applications are now available on its marketplace for Windows Phone 7/7.5 platforms. The company is still dramatically behind Apple App Store and Android Market with 500 thousand and 300 thousand apps, respectively. But the software giant remains optimistic and hopes that the battle for smartphones is not lost.
The Windows Phone Marketplace has now passed the 50 000 app and games submission mark. Content is being added at the rate of 265 items per day. At press time, 50 126 items have been published. Of these, 17 276 were added in the last 90 days and 8 010 were added in the last 30 days. It took just over a year to get to 40 000 apps, but just 40 days to add the next 10 000 apps, according to Microsoft.
The last few weeks have seen an acceleration in the rate of submissions. There are two likely causes here: firstly the expanded availability of the Windows Phone Marketplace geographically (extended from 16 to 35 countries) and secondly the release of Nokia's first Windows Phone devices.
Entertainment is the single biggest category (7543 items). the next three biggest categories are books + reference (7014 items), games (6991) and tools + productivity (6797 items). The four biggest categories (out of seventeen) make up 57% of the content.
The majority - 58% - of items in the Windows Phone Marketplace are free, 14% are paid with a free trial and 29% are paid. By comparison, the free / paid ratio for Android is approximately 69% / 31% and for iOS is approximately 43% / 57%.
Windows Phone has taken just under 14 months to reach the 50,000 milestone. Android took 19 months (October 2008 - April 2010) to reach 50 000 apps, reflecting Android's relatively slow start in terms of device licensees. iOS took 12 months (July 2008 - June 2009) to reach the same figure, but arguably had an advantage, given it had an installed based of around 4 million first generation iPhones before the App Store launched.
Although Windows Phone platform commanded 1.5" smartphones in Q3 2011 and the operating system is not that attractive to developers as its competitors, Apple iOS and Google Android, Microsoft claims that availability of 50 000 apps suggest Windows Phone Marketplace is a credible challenger to both Apple's App Store and Google's Marketplace in terms of app metrics.