High app submission rate to Windows Phone Marketplace causing delays in publishing

We've noticed in our Twitter stream and from interacting with developers that there have been quite a few delays with Windows Phone Marketplace submissions. Before, it would take around 72 hours from submission to approval to publishing of the app. Now, it's taking significantly longer and there have been a few hiccups along the way too (see Rowi's recent update woes).

In the latest Windows Phone Developer Newsletter (April 2012), Microsoft confirms that indeed "due to high submission and update volumes, the app certification process is continuing to take longer than it has previously." Just how long? Microsoft states it can now take up to seven days which is quite an increase from the previous 72 hours. In turn, Microsoft is recommending to developers to plan accordingly by submitting as early as possible if they want a certain publishing date.

Of course this is a good news/bad news situation. It's a bit frustrating to developers who now have to wait significantly longer than it did a few months ago to get their app or app update to market. On the other hand, these delays are caused by a nice problem: a huge increase in app submissions to the Windows Phone Marketplace.

For point of reference, nearly 340 new apps are being published daily in addition to over 400 app updates which has resulted in just over 70,000 apps being available in the Marketplace (the 80,000 number is a bit misleading since it aggregates worldwide and doesn't count removed or inactive apps).

We imagine that if the Nokia Lumia 900 is successful, new app submissions could also increase over the next few months -- an issue we'll return to soon enough. Finally, Microsoft probably won't let this delay get any longer as they are trying to scale appropriately to meet the demand.

Marketplace statistics provided by WP7AppList

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Well this explains why it took a week for Rowi 2.0 to get published.
    Hopefully devs are expecting good things from the Lumia launch.
  • The current rate of app development is actually pretty astonishing. 340 apps a day means that before the end of the year, the number of apps in the Marketplace will double again to 160,000.
  • Well this is good news there are a lot of Dev. making apps for WP.
  • They can't afford any missteps. I hope they can scale this operation quickly.
  • Why?
  • Because one week wait is longer than for iOS or Android?
  • Numbers are good, wonder which big names are coming to the table...
  • I've actually submitted 3 things recently and all 3 came back in 3/4 days. They were all failures for rather random things though :(
  • They can fail part way through certification tho. So if it were to pass, it would no doubt of taken longer.
  • My 1st one was registred in 4 days 3 weeks ago. I'm now waiting for my second one for the 4th Day, hope i'll not wait for 3 more days :(
  • I notice this too about a month ago. It was taking longer, but the last week or so it seems to be going even faster. I got an app published in 3 days and an update in 2 days.
  • Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers...
  • :)
  • My apps also took 4/5 days from approve to actually published to the marketplace. Hope this "good" problem resolve fast and won't turn the apple bad. Keep it up M$!
  • These news are both good and bad as people wrote. At least we get more apps!
  • Got to wonderthough how many of those 340 daily you would actually want on your phone.  Numbers mean nothing if the quality is shit.
  • Such a negative attitude. There will always be apps that people install but but remove due to lack lusterism. I'm sure there's garbage apps on other platforms yet WP7 is continually compared to them despite being the youngest OS of the major 3. I would like to know why we don't have Angry Birds Space yet or family fued. There's no excuse for this because these major app developers know a few things, MS has money, most of them use tools developed by MS to develop for all platforms, and MS will continue investing in WP7. isn't this what they should want? Unlike BB WEB OS...basically they abandoned developers.
  • I call it how I see it, sorry I dont have your rose tinted specs when it comes to WP7.  I love the platform and hate to see it filled with the dross you get on iOS & Android.
  • I agree with you about not wanting it filled with dross, but how can you stop it? Isn't that why they have the approval/submittal process in place? The problem there is that people involve in this process will always have a different opinion than what is a good app & what is a dross app. Unless someone like you compiles a list of apps considered dross to MS personnel and they agree with you.
  • I agree with Gmotagi. It seems like I'm seeing a lot of crap come out. What's also dissappointing is that when I was on iOS, there were so many great games or apps(name brand ones too) that would be featured for free every day. I'm not familiar with Android, but I sure it's the same scenario as iOS. Not once have I seen a single game under Xbox Live section, go for free, only the crummy boring MS ones. This holds true to the name brand games under the regular section also. I might not be looking at the "bigger picture" with WP as other are, don't get me wrong I like WP, but I'm also calling it as I see it and it just isn't selling for me.
  • well, this might sound like an app nazi, but I think they should start prioritizing the A-list properties over some of the D-list dreck that keeps coming through.  Every time I see one of these shit ebooks show up I have to wonder if I'm missing out on an update for one of my top property apps, or a new top property app like Instagram or something else is getting delayed.  There needs to be an express line for A-list properties...ESPECIALLY if it is a dev making a move from iOS or android.
  • Ive currently got version 3.3 in certification at the moment.  Its normal for me to have to wait a week.  Is very annoying and as you can see from the version I have spent half my life waiting for certification. Interestingly though, the free version of my app that was featured in the market always seems to pass certification quicker, unsure if that is a coincidence or not!
  • If they see a good app coming through im pretty sure it will get special treatment. Well  done to get featured.
  • I think it's nothing wrong with plugging your app names here. Atleast we could try what felllow developers are working on.
  • Back in November and December I was seeing upwards near 700 apps being added a day. Ever since that "dude" left for Amazon the submission rates have decreased. What's his name??... We need him back!
  • So what's the holdup on games? Is it the XBL program holding those ones back? Saw in January the Geodefense Swarm dev had submitted it, should be getting released. Its friggin April now. WTF?
  • I wonder if this explains where MLB AT BAT 12 is??
  • They may not like this over at The Verge
  • Well Microsoft must be doing something to alleviate the problem.
    Until today, the last couple weeks the number of new apps added each day has been well under 200.
    Also, for clarification, WP7AppList has never reported a total of 80K in Marketplace, and actually has yet to reach 75K. Curiously, yesterday the number of inactive apps was in the 8000s, but today has topped 10K. I hope the sudden jump isn't from developers giving up on the process.
  • I would much rather that they took longer to review and process the apps submitted to them than to rush through the whole process just to get the numbers and have lots of crappy and malware ridden apps in the Marketplace!