The Windows Phone 8 looks set to benefit from continued growth in its app market, as the total number of compatible apps exceeds 60,000 for the first time, according to reports in Mashable.com.
Image source: http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/06/20/Windows_Phone_8-4596_1_610x406.jpg
Up from a level of around 40,000 in January, the ongoing development of Windows Phone-compatible apps is regarded to be central to its ability to prosper against competition from iPhone and Android models.
Released to extensive fanfare, the Windows Phone 8 has failed to capture the collective imagination of the industry, and some remain unconvinced as to the future of the technology in a crowded, highly competitive environment.
With handset sales lower than some had initially forecast, the news of the burgeoning app market for Windows devices will be welcomed by Microsoft, as the firm continues to fight for a bigger share of the mobile market.
However, compared to its biggest competitors, the Windows technology continues to lag behind. The 60,000 apps available for Windows Phones is dwarfed by some 800,000 apps in the iPhone app store, and with 50 billion downloads from the app store to iPhone handsets, the Windows Phone clearly still has a long way to go.
The Windows Phone is Microsoft’s entry into the smartphone race, and the handset runs on the new Windows 8 OS. However, the technology has always trailed against far more widespread competitors, and Apple in particular already benefits from a massive share of the market because of its early entry.
But with the increasing range of apps for Windows 8 – and the inclusion of some notable ‘flagship’ apps from Dropbox and Twitter – the Windows Phone is looking like a much more viable contender. One of the main criticisms remains the lack of a Facebook app. Given the social network’s dominance over the web, this will continue to hold back sales.
Simplikate, which designs multiplatform mobile applications for smartphone operating systems, is one option for businesses looking to launch on the Microsoft platform. The company also develops for iOS, Android and other mobile platforms.
The Windows Phone was launched in 2010, some three years after Apple’s first iPhone. Since then, the Windows Phone has trailed in sales figures behind iPhone and other handset models – a factor many attribute in part to a lack of compatible apps.
The marked growth in size of the collection of apps available for Windows Phone will be regarded as an important step in the life cycle of the handset, and sustained growth is essential if the Windows Phone is to remain relevant in future.
Nokia currently dominates the market for Windows Phone, with HTC and Samsung controlling around 30% combined. “Windows Phone doesn’t hold a big section of the smartphone market worldwide, but it is growing, and a lot of that is thanks to the success of Nokia’s Lumia handsets,” writes phonearea.com.
By contrast, the iPhone has sold an estimated 250 million units over its various different versions, helping Apple to capture a majority of the market for mobile and app users worldwide.