Windows Phone hot on the heels of Android when it comes to app developers?

Is Windows Phone a  "potential competitive threat" to Android?

We all know that there is a great war going on right now in the smartphone world. Apple and iOS continue to be taking most parts of the world by storm, where as in North America RIM's numbers have plummeted over the last year or two. So where does that leave Windows Phone?

Well it would seem that for most people it is apps that are important and that is where Flurry (opens in new tab) comes in, where we found this interesting report. Flurry is an analytic company that tracks developer support across all the major smartphone operating systems. The statistics are easy for Flurry to trace as when a company creates a new project in Flurry Analytics it will need to download specific SDKs.

As you will see in the following charts it would appear that Windows Phone seems to be chasing the heels of Android. Will the growth continue? If the numbers rise like they have in the last year then possibly so.

Project starts for Windows Phone have grown by more than 600%, now accounting for 6% of all new project starts during June 2012 according to Flurry. Although iOS are still clearly dominating, the application market share they have has shrunk in the last year. Android is slightly up and BlackBerry appears to have remained flat where as good old Windows Phone has had the highest application increase.

If we look at just Android and Microsoft in the month of June, for every Windows Phone new project started, 4 have been started for Android.  Considering the much smaller Windows Phone installed based compared to Android, Microsoft is currently over-indexing.  From Google’s point-of-view, this must elevate Microsoft from an “also-ran” to a potential competitive threat with the resources and know-how to kick-start momentum and mount a campaign to reel in the second place player.

The other chart that Flurry have published makes me shudder when I look at it, as I too am a BlackBerry addict. With the way the market has been going recently between Windows Phone and BlackBerry I am not totally surprised by the above. However I must point out that these app figures are likely to change dramatically over the next twelve months.

Yes, I am putting my personal twist on things. Not because I just want BlackBerry to catch up, but the fact that they are releasing BlackBerry 10 in Q4 this year and are currently promoting app development with their BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour is very encouraging. Attendance at all events so far has been a sell out and devs are extremely positive about the new platform. This may change things for Android devs. If the new BlackBerry OS is a success then it may be time for them to focus on BlackBerry 10 rather than Android as app platform?

But that's enough about me and my BlackBerry opinions. The fact is, according to Flurry, that the gap between Windows Phone and Android app development is shrinking in Microsoft's favor. Maybe faster than first expected.

Considering the age of the Windows Phone OS I think the app figures are pretty darn good and long may they continue to grow. With a Windows tablet on the horizon could Android be quaking in their boots soon?

Source: Flurry; Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

James Richardson
  • Awesome!
  • Wp7 is great but apps are really bad and lack of developers putting effort In:(
  • True.
  • I actually have a different attitude, I think our apps are quality, I just wish we had more popular apps.
  • Lol quality apps are apps suck to many little pointless apps no GTA games r other big name games but that's ok cuz people don't Really use all 100,000 apps that we have they all don't fit lol so I just glade we got the needed apps like Netflix, WPCentral, Geekbyte, TechNews, ESPN, super tube, Amazon mobile, local scout, Nokia Drive, and TuneIn radio and Skype there only a few apps that we use anyway those r the quality ones in my opinion
  • Holy run-on sentences batman!
  • Lol
  • Most apps do feel better than on android & iOS but we do lack some of the most popular ones from iOS & Android. I personally prefer the game experience on wp7
  • I disagree the apps "bad". Actually I disagree with the statement in general. Every os has bad apps. I have downloaded stinkers on ios, android, and WP. There are great apps on all, WP just has fewer apps.
  • AGREE!
  • I disagree with such a blanket statement. Most apps I use are great - many I like better than their iOS or Android counterpoint. Some have disappointed, and some I wish for arent there yet. They have made remarkable progress so far and only see things continuing to improve. 
  • Alot of the iOS and Android apps are shocking too....
  • What apps are you using? Sure you aren't talking about Android?
  • Our apps are great, a beautiful UI and great functionalities
  • Some are good, others are awful. As time goes devs will get it right more often. I hope.
  • While I see this as a positive sign, one must put it into perspective:  This is solely based on Flury's SDK usage.  I for one do not know who uses Flury's SDK's, especially for Windows Phone development.  Their blog says 70k companies, with 150k apps using their Analytics SDK.  If that's true, that means 4200 companies are using their software, and 6k apps (of which the Windows Phone Marketplace just hit 100k apps.)  That to me doesn't seem like alot, and one to say MS is moving in the right direction.  The biggest tell IMO is how many Tier 1, official apps are published, and right now MS is seriously lagging in that department.
  • I think the WP7 still lacks a number of popular apps, but the popular apps WP7 has, i think is on par or at least close to other platforms. 
  • I know you're tired of hearing this guys, but when it comes to apps and development news... Just wait till Wednesday
  • I can't wait Jay. What's good?
  • Now the problem is that with so many different devices, the range of compatible accessories for a given device is really limited compared to the seemingly endless products offered for the iPhone.
  • BlackBerry who? windows phone killed blackberry and symbian already next to terminate is Android and dark side Apple hahaha
  • Developers hate android because the users don't pay up. Its true, I never bought anything. Wp7 has nice apps but I hate the ones where they just made them and abandoned them *cough* yelp.
  • Title to article is so misleading...
  • The title of Flurry's article aka the source was "Microsoft May Be Closer Than It Appears in Android's Rearview Mirror". So no, it's true to the source material.
  • Tbh, I don't think this is a good indicator. Nice little graph, but potentially untrustworthy data.
  • App development increasing for WP is all fine and dandy,but popular apps not making it to WP is the big reason why alot of people stay away.
  • I need official YAHOO MESSENGER! Unofficial sucks! All of them. Lol just saying.
  • This article doesn't even make sense.  Hot on Android's Heels?  Hardly.  
    Looking at the numbers, Android actually increased their rate of development.  It is iOS who has shown a slight drop off.  Yes, the ratio of new apps between Android and WP has skewed a bit in WP's favor but that does little to erase the massive difference that currently exists.  Even if we ignore current numbers of apps and only look at these data, Android is producing apps at 7 times the rate of WP.  iOS is producing apps at roughly 17 times the rate of WP.  To suggest that WP is somehow closing the gap is completely false.  At best, they are falling behind at a slightly slower rate.  
    I am very intrigued by WP and have liked what little I have seen from the OS itself.  When Windows 8 Phones are released, I will be taking a strong look and am currently holding off on my planned purchase of a new Galaxy SIII so that I can see what Microsoft comes up with this fall.  However, if massive strides are not made in the app department, I will not be making the switch.  As it stands now, 70% of the apps I use most often on my Android device are not availbe for WP.  Yes, WP has some equivalent but very little which is not on Android as well.  I picked the apps I did over those others for a reason. 
    I hope that WP really steps the game up in the next few months.
    Best regards, 
  • Wells Fargo, and local news app. Thats all I need.