Windows Phone Success Depends On App Quality

WP8It might not have the marketshare of Android or the cult following of iOS, but the Windows Phone OS is slowly gaining traction – by quickly adding new apps.

In fact, according to Microsoft, their Windows Phone Store now features more than 300,000 apps and games as of late last week. Two months ago, that number stood at 255,000 apps. A month later, 270,000. The interesting aspect of this milestone, as Softpedia also notes, is not so much the number of apps, but the rate in which they were added:

This milestone is much more important given the fact that it was achieved during summer, when usually developers should be away on holiday. It’s also important to note that Windows Phone Store gained more than 30,000 apps in just three weeks, which means that by the end of the year, there’s a high chance it will reach 4-500,000 apps.

For mobile app developers, there may be no time like the present to establish a presence in Windows Phone Store. Though a distant third in terms of OS marketshare (at 3.4% compared to Android’s 52.1% and iOS’ 41.3%), it’s obvious that the ecosystem still has room to grow.

But while the quantity of apps makes headlines, it’s the quality of apps that will ultimately determine the operating system’s success and longevity. If the data is accurate, it appears as though this point has not been lost on Windows Phone developers.

Back in July of 2013 – shortly after Applause began crawling the Windows Phone Store – we conducted a brief study on the highest rated apps within each app store. What we found was that, among the top three, Windows Phone apps generally received much higher ratings compared to its iOS and Android counterparts. Here’s an abridged version of the results at the time:

Flixster (with 37,984 ratings according to the Windows Phone Store) has an Applause Score of 87 – well above iOS’ 69 and Android’s 67.

Wikipedia fairs even better. With 13,307 ratings in the Windows Phone Store, the app earns an Applause Score of 92. Wikipedia for Android only manages a 62 and the iOS version has a score of 28.

YouTube, the second highest rated app in the Windows Phone Store, is another story. With 18,409 ratings, it has an Applause Score of 30. While this is low, it’s on par with the Android and iOS versions (33 and 20, respectively).

It remains to be seen whether the Windows Phone Store will ever truly rival that of Android and iOS. But the user base is growing, the devices are improving and the apps – at least for the moment – are rising in terms of both quantity and quality. We’d say that’s a pretty good start.

Image courtesy of BusinessInsider.com.

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