Microsoft, Nokia Invest $24M In App Development To Help Close The Windows Phone App-Gap
As Nokia and Microsoft ready their US push for Windows Phones (Nokia Lumia handsets) in earnest, a number of things stand in the way of this “third ecosystem.” Among them lukewarm consumer interest and a lack of apps.
Microsoft and Nokia hope that aggressive pricing and marketing will address the former problem. To address the latter issue, the two companies are investing $24 million “into a new mobile application development program, AppCampus, at Helsinki’s Aalto University during the next three years,” according to Reuters.
It’s not clear that a developer program at a Finnish university will do much to close the app-gap in the near term however. There are roughly 65,000 Windows Phone apps, which now exceeds the number available for RIM devices. But this is just a little over 7 percent of the total number of apps available for iOS. The Android Market (now called Google Play) also has several hundred thousand apps.
The most recent comScore smartphone share data shows that Windows continues to lose ground to Android and the iPhone.
In addition, developers seem to have only modest interest in Windows Phones according to the most recent survey data from Appcelerator (n=2,173 developers).
As the Reuters article points out Windows Phones are in a kind of “catch-22” right now: until there are higher sales developers can’t justify spending time developing for them. Without more apps consumers are less inclined to buy Windows Phones because they seem app-deprived.