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.
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!
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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.